British Columbia

Two dead in B.C. glider collision

A Calgary man and a man from Kelowna are dead after their sailplanes, also called gliders, collided in mid-air in the Mount Swansea area of Windermere, B.C., on Saturday.

A Calgary man and a man from Kelowna are dead after their sailplanes, also called gliders, collided in mid-air in the Mount Swansea area of Windermere, B.C., on Saturday.

RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said that witnesses reported seeing the gliders clip each other's wings at around 3:20 p.m. PT.

"The two planes were gliding in the same thermal lift and at one point contacted wings, causing both to lose control and crash into the side of Mount Swansea," Moskaluk said.

"This accident was witnessed by another sailplane pilot as well as several other people hiking on the mountain."

The hikers quickly found the pilots on the ground. Neither of the two men survived.

Moskaluk said that the men, a 50-year-old from Calgary and a 59-year-old from Kelowna, "were described as experienced pilots familiar with the area."

They had flown out of the Invermere airport earlier in the afternoon. The RCMP did not release the names of the pilots.

Windermere is approximately 10 kilometres south of Invermere, and 20 kilometres south of Radium Hot Springs and the Highway 93 access to Kootenay National Park in southeastern B.C.

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