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YouTube glider Balleka died in crash after seeking out challenging conditions

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “Given the experience of the pilot, the decision to launch seems a reasonable choice.”Mr Wright’s friends told investigators they decided to fly on the day in the hope of experiencing an “epic wave”. The Devon and Somerset Gliding Club paid tribute to the “highly experienced pilot” who was always “full of energy and loved every aspect of aviation”.   A popular YouTube glider pilot died in a crash after seeking out “challenging” conditions in the hope of experiencing an “epic wave”, a crash investigation has found.Matt Wright, whose YouTube videos under the name Balleka gained millions of views, died when his glider crashed after taking off from Brentor Airfield in Devon in December 2016.The 47-year-old, who gained thousands of YouTube subscribers, said his videos captured the “joy and wonder” of his soaring adventures around the world.He decided to take off in “turbulent” conditions, with gusts of up to 30 knots (35mph) reported, despite having witnessed another glider pilot aborting his flight due to the strong winds.Investigators believe his craft was hit by a downdraft as it turned left, possibly as he attempted to abort his own flight and land.center_img “The pilot in this accident was experienced, was current and was known for his interest in seeking out challenging flying conditions,” the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report said.”He and his group had travelled to the site precisely because of the conditions as they believed this would offer them the opportunity for high-performance gliding.”The pilot had flown in very demanding conditions previously.”At this level, gliding is a high-performance sporting activity and the pilot knew of and accepted the degree of hazard to achieve high-performance flight.last_img

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