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Glider Crash Investigation

Updated: Tuesday, February 18 2014, 11:31 PM EST
The investigation continues into what caused the crash of a glider crash Tuesday morning on Big Ridge Road in Yancey County. The pilot has been identified as 66-year-old Jay Campbell of Camden, South Carolina.  

It was supposed to be a scenic flight out of Shiflet Field in Marion, to soar in the air currents around Mt. Mitchell.  But something went terribly wrong. The single-seat glider went down, hitting the tree so hard, that it split one of the big limbs in two. The cockpit was shattered with the licensed pilot pinned inside.

Campbell was trapped in the wreckage for about an hour because rescuers had to be extremely careful. The glider was stuck up in the tree limbs and there was a risk of it falling to the ground, with the pilot still in the cockpit.

First responders say Campbell was lucky to wind-up crashing at a spot not far from a road. They were able to get to him quickly with a bucket-truck and front-end loader to stabilize the glider and get him down. They say he was bleeding from the head and complaining of abdominal pain, but also thanking them for arriving so soon.

Campbell was flown to a hospital in Johnson City. He is listed in serious, but stable condition Tuesday night.

Related Links:
Glider Crash near Mt. MitchellGlider Crash Investigation


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