While hang-gliding in Canada on Saturday, Lenami Godinez went through the unthinkable.
Shortly after taking off on a tandem flight, one in which the person is partnered with an instructor, Godinez slipped from her harness and fell an estimated 1,000 feet to her death.
The 27-year-old, who is originally from Mexico, was taking her first hang gliding flight in British Colombia on Woodside Mountain after her boyfriend purchased the lessons for their anniversary. Shortly after he stopped recording her first flight experience, Godinez began slipping from her harness.
Instructor William Orders, 50, said he knew something was wrong within 30 seconds of taking off. When he realized Godinez was falling, he said he attempted to wrap his legs around her, but was unsuccessful in holding on. She lid further and just before she fell, the young woman is said to have tried to hold on to Orders’ shoe.
Seven hours after she fell, some of the 40 people involved in the search, finally found her body. The instructor’s shoe is said to have been about 60 feet away.
Tuesday, it was announced that Order’s lack on cooperation in the investigation has led to a charge of obstruction of justice against him. It has been rumored that Orders withheld a video taken during the flight. The video is given to customers to commemorate their flights. Reports of this video having not been turned over to investigators has not been confirmed.
Spokesman for the Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada, Jason Warner, said the pilot was trained and experienced.
“At this point, it is being looked at as if it was pilot error or equipment error,” said Warner.
He added, “This has never happened in Canada before.”
Godinez worked at the provincial Ministry of Environment as an administrator.