Weathersfield, VT. – July 3, 1982

Weathersfield, Vermont – July 3, 1982

     On July 3, 1982, a vacationing New Jersey man was piloting a glider aircraft at 3,800 feet, and making his way towards Springfield State Airport when the aircraft began to loose altitude.  Realizing that he couldn’t make it to the airport, he decided to set the craft down in an open field in Weathersfield.  As he came in to land, the left wing clipped a tree, and the glider spun around and struck some high-voltage power lines with its right wing.  The right wing became entangled in the wires while the left wing dropped to the ground in the middle of a service road, thus “grounding” the electricity passing through the aircraft and leaving the pilot suspended in a precarious position.  Fortunately he was not injured, but he had to wait an hour to be rescued.

     Rescue crews had to cut the power to the wires (which were carrying 78,000 volts of electricity) before they could remove the professor and the aircraft.  A captain on the Springfield Fire Department was quoted as saying, “If the wire had gone across the other wing, that guy would have been a French fry.”          


     Providence Journal, “Glider Pilot OK After Plane Hits High-Voltage Line”, July 5, 1982, page A-8    

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