RCMP Cst. Tracy Wolbeck

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.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

df
Missionites protest logging of old-growth forests outside MLA Pam Alexis’ office

Protests in solidarity with logging blockaders on Vancouver Island; injunction heard in court today

Alan Pryor in 2015, during the Agassiz Fire Department’s 70th year. (Greg Laychak/The Observer)
Agassiz fireman celebrates 51 years at the hall

Al Pryor has been a key member in the Agassiz Fire Department since he was 16

Mike Bismeyer of Abbotsford is the recipient of the national Savita Shah Award for his work promoting kindness and anti-bullying initiatives.
Abbotsford man who was bullied as a teen receives national kindness award

Mike Bismeyer is one of two Canadians to earn Savita Shah Award

RCMP were on scene under the Menzies Street bridge in Chilliwack on Thursday, March 4, 2021 where a body was found. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
UPDATE: Body found under Menzies bridge in Chilliwack that of man in 20s

Death not considered suspicious, said Chilliwack RCMP

The public survey of the 76-acre area Parr Neighbourhood will help municipal staff make policy decisions on future development. District of Mission image.
The public survey of the 76-acre area Parr Neighbourhood will help municipal staff make policy decisions on future development. District of Mission image.
Parr locals want to keep neighbourhood green, avoid densification, survey says

Mission council presented with results of a public survey on future development of 76-acre area

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Burnaby Mounties responded to 56 complaints and issued 10 tickets to people flouting COVID-19 restrictions in February. (Patrick Davies/100 Mile Free Press)
COVID denier fined $2,300 for hosting gathering in her home: Burnaby RCMP

The woman told Mounties she does not believe the pandemic is real

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

RCMP members responded to calls of a man-down at Landsdowne mall in Richmond Wednesday afternoon. The 40-year-old was suffering from stab wounds. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man in critical condition following afternoon attack outside Richmond mall: RCMP

The Vancouver resident was found lying injured outside Richmond’s Lansdowne Centre

Most Read