NEWS

B.C. hang-glider pilot released on bail

05/07/2012 04:59 EDT | Updated 07/07/2012 05:12 EDT

A B.C. hang-glider pilot who allegedly swallowed a camera's memory card after a woman plunged to her death from his aircraft during a flight has been released on bail.

Pilot William Jonathan Orders, 50, was granted bail Friday on charges of obstruction of justice, but was not immediately released because he couldn't comply with bail conditions until Monday.

Orders, wearing a black hoodie over his head, left the Coquitlam, B.C., courthouse by a side door, evading reporters.

His next scheduled court appearance is June 18.

Orders' bail conditions included putting up $5,750 cash surety, not doing any hang-gliding, and surrendering all passports and secondary citizenship documents.

Orders was being held while police used daily X-rays to track the progress of the card though his body, but on Friday afternoon his lawyer told reporters the police now have the card.

Witnesses said that hang-gliding passenger Lenami Godinez-Avila, 27, fell 300 metres to her death about 30 seconds after launching off Mount Woodside in the Fraser Valley east of Vancouver on a tandem flight that Orders was piloting.

It is believed the camera's card may contain a video recording of the flight, which Orders normally sold to customers as part of his commercial hang-gliding business. The memory card was recovered by police last week, but they have not said publicly what images the card contained.

Orders is co-operating with police, his lawyer, Laird Cruickshank, said Monday.

"He's disclosed to police the events surrounding the memory card and he's been co-operative with them since that time," Cruickshank said outside Chilliwack provincial court.

"He's expressed his remorse to me on an ongoing basis and I think he really needs some time now to get out of custody and process things in the appropriate fashion."

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