70-year-old feared dead after hang glider crash

Updated: 2013-02-26 16:56


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70-year-old feared dead after hang glider crash

Yi Ruilong rides an unpowered delta wing hang glider across the 2,086-meter west peak of Huashan Mountains, Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, in this July 18, 2012, file photo. [Photo/Western China City Daily]

Yi Ruilong, a hang glider enthusiast, was feared dead after dropping into a remote lake during a training flight on the night of the Chinese Lantern Festival, Western China City Daily reports on Tuesday.

The 70-year-old plunged from the sky and crashed into Hanyuan Lake in the southwestern mountainous region of Sichuan province, after he failed to complete a series of stunts during the flight, witnesses said.

But after two days of searching, Yi is still missing, and only a helmet has been recovered, and professional divers were called in to continue the search.

70-year-old feared dead after hang glider crash

Rescuers search for Yi after the accident. [Photo/Western China City Daily]

Yi's chance of survival in the water is quite slim, as he was already carrying a heavy load - a 10-kilogram sandbag and a 30-kilogram glider - before the drop, said Yi's friend Ling Xidong, who witnessed the accident.

Yi Ruilong, known as "China's first flying man" for his successful gliding career, made a delta wing glider by himself in the late 1980s and took to hang gliding after a flight from the top of Mount Emei in July 1990.