Kerry Down

Long-term Taiwan resident pilot Kerry Best was injured after a crash landing in Pingtung on Saturday 12/3. He was flying XC and had reached a point somewhere south of Tajin when he was forced to land there. He’s in hospital in Tamsui with a broken leg, broken foot, fractured vertebrae and pelvis, some cracked ribs. He’s in stable condition and good spirits.
Wish him luck and a quick recovery.

I spoke to Kerry again on 12/15 and found him still in good spirits. Apparently he is slated for release sometime around the 20th.
He confirmed the story I had gotten from Steven and Bob as to the cause of the accident:
He’d not had much sleep on the Friday night, had driven to Saichia in the morning and didn’t feel really fit then. He slept a little on the way up the hill and had a nap up there, intending to fly much later or not at all. After a few people crossed the valley he decided to go after them, even though it was getting late in the day for a run north. Trying to catch up with the other gliders he made the crossing at Hisengong very low and arrived on the ridge on the other side with very little height left. Instead of leaving for a safe landing while there was time he committed to scratching and climbing out. It didn’t work. The last option was a very small patch of ground with obstacles including buildings and power lines around it. Trying to wang it in there, he spun the glider.
Kerry cites the causes as: Unfit to fly, especially a comp glider. Failure to leave for safe landing in time. Overpiloting the glider.
Hopefully Kerry will get around to writing his own report when he gets home.

Update 1/2/06
I heard that Kerry is now at home and doing well.

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