An Air Cadets glider crash-landed on the roof of a corner grocery store in Langley City Sunday morning.
According to witnesses, just after 10 a.m., the glider apparently clipped some trees to the north east of the Meadow's Mart corner store at 208th Street and 56th Avenue, just a block away from the Langley Bypass.
"It sounded like a construction site had dropped a big sheet of metal," said Christine Macdonald, who lives across the street.
Macdonald and several other neighbours said the lone pilot was talking when he was removed from the crashed aircraft.
The glider came to a halt with one wing leaning off the north edge of the corner store. Langley City firefighters used an aerial ladder and bucket lift to bring the man down from the roof. He was brought down on a backboard and taken to hospital by BC
Ambulance crews. The teen's condition was not considered serious, according to City Fire Chief Rory Thompson.
The young pilot, who was between 16 and 18 years old, was released from hospital by Sunday evening, said Capt. Amelie Leduc, a public affairs officer for the B.C. Cadet program.
"We're very happy and thankful the cadet is safe," said Leduc. At the scene of the crash, Langley RCMP closed down the intersection, but dozens of spectators lined nearby streets to see the glider dangling from the roof.
Despite the crash, the glider did not appear to have suffered heavy damage. It had some damage to one wing, possibly from hitting a tree.
Leduc would not release the name of the young pilot, and for privacy reasons, would not identify the Air Cadets squadron of which he is a member. A number of Lower Mainland squadrons provide glider training from Langley Regional Airport.
Transport Canada and the Directorate of Flight Safety with the Canadian Forces will be looking into the flight, said Leduc.
Because the cadets are overseen by the military, the Directorate will look into the incident.
They will be talking to the pilot, other witnesses, and examining the glider, said Leduc.
Reports from both agencies are expected, but Leduc couldn't say how long the process might take.
Air Cadet glider flights are a common sight on weekends in Langley, usually using an east-west running runway at the Langley Regional Airport. The Airport is about half a mile from the location of the crash.
Local glider flights begin with the glider being pulled into the air by a tow plane, then released to come back down to earth under the glider pilot's control. Leduc said the flights typically last about 15 minutes and the gliders are released about 2,000 feet in the air.
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