BIG FLATS – On Saturday, emergency crews responded to a call for a glider accident in the town of Big Flats.
According to Chemung County Sheriff William Schrom, at around 4:25pm deputies were dispatched to the area of 557 Harris Hill road, otherwise known as the driving range area of Harris Hill Park.
When deputies arrived, they found two people that had been in the glider. 67 year-old Jeff Buchman of Allentown PA, a certified flight and glider instructor, was piloting the glider with a flying student, a 14 year-old female from Horseheads. Both told police that while attempting to land the glider after a lesson, they were unable to get low enough to safely do so on the runway. Therefore, the pilot had no choice other than to attempt an emergency landing.
The pilot was able to get the glider to the Harris Hill driving range, but temporarily lost control of the aircraft, causing it to tip sideways. This resulted in one of the wings hitting the ground, causing damage to the wing as well as the most of the aircraft.
Luckily, neither the pilot nor his student were injured. Police say that the student’s father was on scene as well.
After the accident, a crew arrived and disassembled the glider, removing it from the driving range.
In addition to the Sheriff’s Office, Big Flats Fire Department and Erway Ambulance responded to the scene as well.