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Pilot who ate memory card apologises to victim's family

Published: 6:42PM Tuesday May 15, 2012 Source: ONE News

A New Zealander has apologised for swallowing a memory card that contained footage of a young woman falling to her death in a hang-gliding accident in Canada. 

William "Jon" Orders has appeared in a Vancouver court charged with obstructing the course of justice after he admitted swallowing a memory card containing footage of 27-year-old Lenami Godinez-Avila falling to her death. 

Orders, 50, was filming the Canadian woman from a camera attached to his helmet as she slipped from the harness on the tandem hang-glider he was piloting.

She tried to hold on to Orders' legs but fell 300m when his shoe came off.

Yesterday, Orders apologised to Godinez-Avila's family and the police for the "panicked action" in front of reporters in Vancouver.  

He said his impulsive behaviour was due to "overwhelming stress" that included his awaiting 12-year-old daughter on the field where the tandem flight was supposed to land.

"I would like to apologise to Lenami's family, to the police and the public for my panicked action of swallowing the memory card as I did," said Orders.

"My 12-year-old daughter was present that day and made the situation even more stressful at the time."

Orders was arrested two days after the April 28 accident and held in custody for a week while lawyers and police waited for him to pass the memory card, the Canadian Press reported.

Police have said they will attempt to view the footage on the memory card, and see where the evidence leads their investigation.

Godinez-Avila's boyfriend purchased the gliding adventure over the BC's Fraser Valley -  a scenic area in British Colombia - to celebrate their two-year anniversary.

He was watching and waiting for his own turn when he saw Godinez-Avila fall to her death.