Two men killed in a glider crash south of Calgary have been identified as an instructor and student who were considered very capable pilots.
The men have been identified as Allan Wood, 68, and Adam Leinweber, 18, both members of the Cu Nim Gliding Club.
The pair was killed Friday when a glider and tow plane collided shortly after the glider was released east of the town of Black Diamond.
The Transportation Safety Board confirms to CTV News Calgary the tow plane was a Cessna 182.
A long-time glider pilot, Wood was formerly the chief flight instructor with the club, said president Kerry Stevenson.
“During his tenure as CFI, be brought in a lot of protocols and instruction that created a lot of safety within our club, he was a true leader in that,” he said.
“He was a man of great character and always did the right thing, a very cautious pilot. He just loved instructing and loved people. I don’t think he could say a sentence without a smile or laugh at the end of it.”
Leinweber had recently graduated from Crescent Heights High School with honours and was enrolled in a bachelor of physics program at the University of Calgary. He was also a member of the 604 Moose Squadron in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.
“He has a lot of friends, a wonderful loving soul, he contributed here so much,” said Stevenson.
“He was close to licencing, he had soloed with us. He was an excellent pilot, just tremendous skill. I fly with a lot of pilots and he was a natural.”
Leinweber joined the club about two years ago. Stevenson said the pair was on an instruction flight, with Wood piloting, when the crash happened.
The club has halted operations for the time being, posting a statement on its Facebook page saying the move will allow them to “grieve the loss and celebrate the memory of two of our members that represented the best of our club.”
“Soaring is a lovely sport, supported by a community of passionate, generous individuals,” the statement read.
“There are risks inherent to soaring and efforts are made to ensure safety for all.”
Stevenson said the group will meet before deciding when to resume flying.
“We can’t go forward until we’re ready to and we’ll know that as a club when we get a chance to meet together and talk this through and console each other,” he said.
TSB investigators arrived at the scene on Saturday. RCMP remain on the scene as well.
Both planes have now been inspected by TSB officials and witness interviews have been done.
The next steps, said TSB spokesperson Chris Krepski, will be to examine pilot training records and aircraft maintenance records.