Pilot of fatal hang-glide flight in B.C. gets five months
Pilot-instructor William Jonathan Orders, seen here in this file photo, has been sentenced to five months in jail and banned from participating in hang-gliding for three years following the death of 27-year-old Lenami Godinez-Avila two years ago. (GLOBAL BC SCREEN GRAB)
The pilot-instructor of a tandem hang-gliding flight that killed a woman two years ago has been sentenced to five months in jail and banned from participating in the sport for three years.
According to the B.C. Supreme Court, part of William Jonathan Orders’ probationary conditions — to be served after he finishes his jail term — include not flying solo or in tandem as passenger or pilot.
He must also perform 25 hours of community service to provide instructional lectures about the flight that led to 27-year-old Lenami Godinez-Avila’s death.
Orders was taking the Vancouver woman up on her first hang-gliding trip that day when, within seconds of taking off, Godinez-Avila fell 300 metres to a wooded area where she died.
An investigation concluded a “hang-check” that involves physically lifting the glider with the passenger strapped in was not performed.
He was charged with obstruction of justice and criminal negligence causing death. Police discovered Orders swallowed a memory card containing video footage of the flight preparation and take-off.
Orders, who has sworn to give up hang-gliding, previously apologized on camera, saying he swallowed the memory card because his young daughter was present during the accident.
“I realize that my actions caused this matter to drag out unnecessarily for Lenami’s family and friends and for the police, and for that I am deeply regretful,” he had said.