RCMP Cst. Tracy Wolbeck

Pilot charged in fatal hang-gliding flight out on bail

Jon Orders, charged with obstruction of justice after a fatal tandem flight April 28, was released from custody Monday in Chilliwack.



Jon Orders, the hang-gliding pilot charged with obstruction of justice after a fatal tandem flight April 28, was released from custody Monday in Chilliwack.

Orders, 50, was granted release by a provincial court judge Friday, but remained in custody over the weekend until he perfected $5,750 cash bail and surrendered passport and citizenship documents.

Evidence submitted by Crown and defence lawyers at the bail hearing cannot be published by court order.

Crown counsel opposed the release, but Judge Roy Dickey said the Crown had not convinced him their concerns were strong enough to continue holding Orders.

“I have determined that the risk can be dealt with in terms of the conditions of his release,” the judge said.

In addition to turning in passports and citizenship documents, the conditions included no travel outside B.C., no operation of a hang-glider or paraglider, attend all court hearings in person, no contact with several witnesses and report regularly to a bail supervisor.

Lenami Godinez-Avila, a 27-year-old from Mexico, fell to her death during a tandem hang-gliding flight with Orders that took off from Mount Woodside just before noon April 28.

When police charged Orders had swallowed a camera memory card that might hold evidence, the story captured world-wide attention and speculation.

Order’s lawyer Laird Cruickshank told The Progress after the Friday hearing that his client may want to comment down the road about the media coverage, but “I’m concerned about his emotional well-being; that’s been more the focus than what others are saying about him.”

Meanwhile, Orders’ certification as a hang-glider instructor has been suspended by the Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada and an investigation launched.

Investigations by the RCMP and the BC Coroners Office continue.

RCMP Const. Tracy Wolbeck said a team of investigators is looking into the case, but she would not comment on possible further charges.

“We’ll have to see where the evidence leads us,” she said.

“The RCMP priority is exclusively to answer the questions we all have, particularly those of the family,” she said.

“They have come to Canada in search of answers to provide some clarity regarding the death of their daughter.”

Martin Henry, a master-rated pilot with over 30 years experience, is the lead investigator for the association, with assistance from Jason Warner, the association’s safety chair.

Margit Nance, association executive director, told The Progress last week that “there is total gloom in our flying community.”

“It’s just so tragic,” she said. “To say there is deep shock is an understatement.”

Nance said this is the first such fatal incident in Canada “and must never happen again.”

“One is too many, as far as I’m concerned,” she said.

Vancouver Hang Gliding, the business owned by Orders, now advises on its website that passengers should “double check the preparations (for flight) and quiz the pilot for their own safety.”

“It is not known yet the exact circumstance that led to the fatal error that caused the (April 28) accident,” the author of the statement writes. “Nevertheless, I recommend to never rush, never pressure to fly, don’t (or accept to be) just a passenger.”

Just Posted

Mounties hunt for missing Langley man

The public has been asked to help locate David Grainger, last seen on March 19

All child porn charges against Chilliwack realtor dismissed

Meissner’s computers contained ‘miniscule’ amount of content normally found on offenders’ devices

B.C. Wildfire crews respond to Sts’ailes, Morris Valley fires

A fire at the First Nation and a grass fire in Mission sent smoke across the valley Wednesday

Power outages causing problems for Morris Valley Road residents

One resident argues BC Hydro ‘not fulfilling (its) mission statement’ thanks to unreliable power

Harrison retiree leaves legacy of ‘non-stop ideas’

Ruth Altendorf is remembered as a ‘“bubbly, enthusiastic, outgoing person’

Harrison Hot Springs students bring ‘Twelfth Night’ to life

The adaption of Shakespeare’s classic comedy include songs and phrases from Canada’s east coast

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

B.C. public insurance includes funding enforcement, driver licensing

B.C., feds accused of ‘environmental racism’ over Site C, Mount Polley

Amnesty International Canada says governments failed to recognize threats to Indigenous peoples

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Two men charged in Lower Mainland grocery store stabbing in 2018

Coquitlam RCMP say the incident is ‘believed to be targeted’

Number of homeless deaths more than doubled in B.C. as opioid crisis set in

New data shows trend between more overdose deaths and the number of people dying in the street

Most Read