An AUSTRALIAN man has died in a glider crash during a competition in New Zealand.
The man, who was described as an experienced glider pilot, was taking part in the South Island Gliding Championships at the time of the crash.
Otago Lakes police commander Olaf Jensen confirmed police were called to a glider crash in the Hunter Region, Otago about 5.30pm local time on Tuesday.
"A helicopter was deployed from Queenstown with a paramedic and police on board to find the crash site, but while it was responding, a person in a privately owned fixed wing aircraft located the wreckage," Mr Jensen said.
"When emergency services arrived at the scene, the sole occupant of the glider was found dead."
The Herald Sun understands the man was well known to the Gliding Federation of Australia, which offered its condolences on Tuesday night.
"We are saddened by the news. Our thoughts are with his family and friends," a spokesman said.
Gliding New Zealand spokesman Nigel Davy told the New Zealand Herald the man was highly experienced.
"At this stage we have limited information around the crash but we can confirm he was a high-hour pilot from Melbourne, with in excess of 4500 hours in his logbook," Mr Davy said.
"He was very current flying in the mountains as he had arrived more than a week ago to get current with his flying.''
Police are working to confirm the man's identity and notify his family.
The death will be referred to the Coroner and the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority will be notified.
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