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

RCMP’s auto theft team nabs Chilliwack suspect

Kao Daniel Macaulay, well-known to police, arrested in stolen red Honda on March 20

UPDATE: Man with gunshot wound drives into ditch on Chilliwack River Road

Serious crimes investigators believe early morning shooting to be targeted

WATCH: Rally at MP’s office Friday in Chilliwack to stop KM pipeline

Water samples from Chilliwack rivers were delivered to MP Strahl’s office in a symbolic gesture

Garrison store going to new heights for children’s charity

Save-On Foods employees raising cash for BC Children’s Hospital, by throwing managers from airplane

Tourism Chilliwack brings home industry award of excellence

Sto:lo Welcome Figures carving project outside the Visitor Centre loomed large in the win

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

B.C. pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions from around B.C. for National Puppy Day 2018

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

B.C. mother hit in truck rampage dies

Family confirms mother of four Kelly Sandoval dies almost two months after being hit.

B.C. officials failed to tell Kiwis Fraser Health CEO had been fired in 2014

New Zealand spending scandal exposes Dr. Nigel Murray 2014 exit from B.C. job

PHOTOS: Students exhibit stunning paper couture dresses

22 paper made gowns will be on display at Vancouver’s Oakridge Centre until March 27

Most Read