THE police yesterday confirmed the death of Joern Steinbeck (54), who died in a glider crash at Rehoboth on Sunday afternoon.
Police spokesperson Raimbert Muronga said Steinbeck was inside the glider, while his wife, Rachel Steinbeck, drove the vehicle that pulled the glider.
“According to eyewitnesses, when the glider reached a certain height in the air, it plummeted and crashed into the ground.
“The deceased, who was alone in the aircraft, broke both his legs and sustained severe head injuries. He died at the scene,” Muronga said.
He said Steinbeck, his wife and a friend of the Steinbecks’ from Germany visited Camp 15 at Rehoboth to fly the glider.
“Upon arriving at the camp, they collected the parts of the plane from one man and went straight to the campsite to reassemble the sailplane together and prepare it for flying.
“Further, when the plane was put together, it was allegedly then fixed to the vehicle on a certain control mechanism from where it is pulled until it reaches a certain point in the air, and the aircraft is then released,” Muronga said.
He said the scene was attended by the police and paramedics who declared Steinbeck dead.
His body was transported to St Mary’s Hospital, and then to Eddy Orlam mortuary.
Aviation professionals in Windhoek were summoned to the scene to investigate the incident.
Muronga said Steinbeck’s next of kin have been informed of the crash.
According to the Namibian Marshall Rangers head Sean Naude, Steinbeck was married to a marshall ranger and that automatically made him a marshall ranger.
“When a marshall ranger is married their spouse automatically becomes part of the team.
Naude told The Namibian that the glider sadly crashed and the occupant, who was a professional pilot, died.
Furthermore, Naude clarified that it was not a gyrocopter that fell, but a glider.
“We just want to amend the reports that it is not a gyrocopter that fell, but it is in fact a glider – these gliders that you pull behind a vehicle then you fly through the air with them.
“We are extending our condolences. We are also asking everybody to pray for the family, and we will keep everybody updated,” he said.