7 Dec 2015

Hang-glider died doing difficult move - coroner

7:06 pm on 7 December 2015

A novice hang-glider pilot was mildly drunk and trying a difficult move not even experts would attempt when he fatally crashed near Wellington, a coroner says.

Paekakariki Hill Road

A stretch of Paekakariki Hill Road. Photo: Photo NZ

Coroner Garry Evans has found 47-year-old Andrew Cairns of Levin was flying a glider which wasn't airworthy when he died on the Paekakariki Hill, in February 2011.

Mr Cairns had been warned by an experienced pilot not to try a difficult manoeuvre because it was dangerous due to the unpredictable winds.

Coroner Evans has recommended the Civil Aviation Authority review the way fitness warrants for hang-gliders are handed out

He also recommended it review its training process and medical self-declarations, after Mr Cairns failed to disclose his three previous drink-driving convictions.