Pilot killed instantly in glider crash

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An experienced young pilot died instantly when her glider came crashing to the ground moments after launching because its wings had detached, an inquest has heard.

Amy Barsby, 25, was taking part in her second flight of the day as part of a university competition when the accident happened, causing her “non- survivable” multiple injuries.

The glider piloted by PhD student Miss Barsby, who was originally from Longridge, Lancashire, nose-dived from a height of between 600ft and 1000ft, watched from the ground by her distraught boyfriend, Bruce Duncan.

Mr Duncan, who had bought a house in Edinburgh with Miss Barsby shortly before her death, wept as he gave evidence at the inquest yesterday.

A jury at Oxford Coroner’s Court recorded a verdict of accidental death as both her parents and the coroner urged changes to be made to similar gliders.

The mechanical failure happened after Miss Barsby and a group of friends assembled the Foka 4 glider incorrectly at Bicester Airfield in Oxfordshire earlier on the day of the accident, August 8 last year.

There was no way for them to check that a bolt holding the wings in place was in the right position, the hearing was told. They had also unwittingly used the wrong tool to tighten the bolt.