Injured glider pilot serious but stable

19:43, Feb 14 2013
Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter
ON THE SCENE: St John Intensive Care Paramedics attend to the injured glider pilot near St Arnaud before flying the patient to Nelson Hospital.

A Christchurch man who survived a glider crash in St Arnaud is in a stable condition in Nelson Hospital.

Scott Ostermann, 47, was airlifted by the Nelson-Marlborough rescue helicopter at 2pm on Wednesday from the Lake Station airfield at St Arnaud, 90 kilometres southwest of Nelson.

His partner, Andrea Ebert, said he was taking off, not landing as previously reported, when the crash happened.

His glider was being launched by a winch at a lower than usual height and just as the cable was released a big gust of wind came through.'' He basically had to do some swift moves or he would have crashed into a barbed-wire fence, which would have been a lot worse,'' she said.

She said the glider went on its side before flipping around in the paddock.''Ostermann was at a week-long youth gliding camp in Nelson. He suffered broken vertebrae, broken ribs and bruised lungs, she said.

She was able to speak with him on the phone after the crash and said he was ''groggy'', but was feeling better yesterday.

''It's a lot more positive news. It is a relief,'' she said.

Helicopter pilot Jarrod Colbourne said Ostermann was conscious after the accident and a doctor was already on the scene when the rescue helicopter crew arrived.The glider's windscreen was smashed, Colbourne said, and the man was ''in a lot of pain''.

A Nelson Hospital spokeswoman said Ostermann was out of intensive care and was in a stable condition.