Queenstown paraglider tree rescue follows technical problem

by Peter Newport - Dec 25, 2023

A rescue helicopter has recovered a paraglider pilot and a tourist from trees above Fernhill after they crashed earlier today.

No serious injuries have been reported. 

The incident involved the commercial company G Force that operates from the top of the Skyline gondola.

Initially the rescue was undertaken by fire services and the Alpine Cliff Rescue team when the two were trapped in trees above Scott Place.

Eventually a helicopter had to be called in and one of the two people was flown to the Lakes District Hospital.

G Force co-director Gavin Taylor issued a media statement to the NZ Herald saying the commercial pilot and passenger with G Force Paragliding were several minutes into their flight from Skyline Gondola in Queenstown when the pilot encountered difficulties.

The company says it has notified the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and all relevant authorities and will carry out their own internal investigations into the incident.

Mr Taylor said the company was fully supporting the passenger and other family members, and would continue collaborating with authorities.

“No further information is available at this time,” the statement concluded.

A G Force commercial paraglider pilot Ben Latham, was killed in 2017 when he crashed into the Queenstown primary school site at the foot of the Skyline gondola.

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