CLIFFSIDE TRAGEDY: Police seek video of hang-glider crash
POLICE are seeking possible video footage of a hang-gliding crash yesterday which killed an experienced operator and injured another man at Lennox Head's Pat Morton lookout yesterday.
The man who died in the crash was 67 years old and has not yet been formally identified.
The second man, aged 26, and possibly an Irish national, was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics, before being winched off the cliff via helicopter and flown to the Gold Coast University Hospital in a critical condition, with head and chest injuries.
Richmond Police District Inspector David Vandergriend said it was an "unfortunate incident".
"A hang-glider has collided with the headland, resulting in a fatality and some serious injuries to another person involved," he said.
"We are in the process of making the necessary family notifications."
Insp Vandergriend confirmed the deceased was a local man.
"The injured person is also male, possibly an Irish national," he said.
"We are going through witness statements and we are also looking for some possible GoPro footage of the incident and that will obviously paint a bit more of a picture for us."
NSW Ambulance Inspector Greg Powell said bystanders tried desperately to save the life of the hang-gliding instructor after witnessing the horrific crash.
"A lot of these bystanders and witnesses were actually friends of the two victims of the accident, so they put their own emotions aside to help their injured friends," he said.
Six to eight people assisted the injured until paramedics arrived about 10 minutes after being alerted, Insp Powell said.
"It was a difficult scene, there was an embankment of approximately four metres that emergency services had to scramble down and climb back up on numerous occasions with equipment," he said.
The instructor who died was described as an experienced and well-respected hang-gliding instructor by those in the industry.
The chief operating officer of the Sports Aviation Federation of Australia (SAFA), Brett Coupland, said: "As a popular member of the local Hang-Gliding community and member of the Sports Aviation Federation of Australia we extend our sincere condolences to the deceased pilot's family and friends".
"The entire SAFA community is deeply saddened to hear this tragic news."
Mr Coupland said the Operations Unit of SAFA is currently assisting with an investigation into the accident, working closely with NSW Police and emergency services.
It is too early to determine the cause of the accident. However, upon completion of the investigation, SAFA will prepare a report for the Coroner and continue to ensure the safety of our sport for all members.