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Kerry Stevenson, 65, identified as pilot who died in southern Alberta glider crash


A pilot who died in a glider crash in southern Alberta on Wednesday has been identified as Kerry Stevenson.

The Cu Nim Gliding Club confirmed Stevenson, 65, died in the crash south of Highway 7 between Diamond Valley and Okotoks.

The club described Stevenson as a long-serving member and past president who helped shape the flying careers of many glider pilots over the years.

“In his life away from the gliding club, Kerry was a husband, a father, a grandfather, a Realtor, a motorcyclist, a dog dad and many other beloved titles,” the club said in a statement Thursday.

“Kerry will be fondly remembered and missed by members of the gliding club and members of the many communities where he contributed.”

The gliding community gathered at Cu Nim on Wednesday night to remember Stevenson.

He worked with Royal LePage as a Realtor for several decades.

“He was kind, caring and always had a positive outlook about life,” Corinne Lyall, an owner and broker with Royal LePage Benchmark, said in an emailed statement.

During the incident on Wednesday, a 911 caller told RCMP a pilot tried to eject from a glider but his parachute appeared to not deploy, causing him to fall hundreds of feet.

The glider then crashed into a field in the area.

The incident occurred during the Canadian National Soaring Championships, which the Cu Nim Gliding Club was hosting.

The club said the Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation into the incident.

The gliding community says there are risks to the sport, but precautions are taken and they are in the process of adding more safeguards.

This is the first glider fatality in three years in Canada, according to the Alberta Soaring Council.

“Those are statistics that we are not proud of, and through efforts at the national level, and at the provincial and local level, we are bringing in initiatives to make the sport safer, including technology and the introduction of technologies like collision avoidance systems, changes to our training and licensing programs, as well as just safety culture,” said Jason Acker, the president of the Alberta Soaring Council.

A 2019 crash involving the the Cu Nim Gliding Club, when Stevenson was president, led to the death of a flight instructor and his student.

“The accident yesterday, again, highlights that we still have our work cut out for us,” Acker said.

The incident sparked Calgary MP Stephanie Kusie to introduce a private members’ bill calling for GPS in some gliders. The bill has completed its first reading. Top Stories

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