07 August 2010

31st WGC - Reflections

These were the largest World Gliding Championships ever, in terms of participants. We had one terrible accident early in the game when an Australian competitor hit a truck on final glide, just before crossing the airport fence. Luckily the pilot was unhurt but the truck driver sustained terrible injuries when the wing sliced through the cab of the truck. From what we have heard he will never be able to work in his profession again. He is in his early thirties with a young family for which his income was the only support. Through OSTIV we have started a collection with the goal to help the family over the rough stuff until the insurance money kicks in.

For Canadians this tragic accident brings back painful memories. In the seventies Wolf Mix was killed at the World Championships in Yugoslavia, not all that far from Szeged, when he collided with a truck.

With over 140 gliders milling around in hazy conditions, weak thermals and cloud bases under 3000 ft, we were lucky not to have any mid-air collisions. This is probably largely due to the fact that most planes were equipped the FLARM collision warning system.

How many gliders do you count in the gaggle?

Oops - a little close. The rule of thumb is, if you can read the other guy's instruments, you are too close.

Photos by Maria Szemplinska

See you all back in Canada!

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