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Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

UPDATED: Glider crashes near Rover

Sunday, May 6, 2012

(Photo)
The rear portion of the glider operated by Doug Miller of Franklin snapped as it crashed alongside U.S. 41A near the Rover glider port at mid-afternoon Sunday.
(T-G Photo by David Melson)
The pilot of a small glider attempting to reach the gliderport near Rover was fortunate to escape with his life after crash landing alongside U.S. 41A a few hundred yards short of the landing strip Sunday afternoon.

Doug Miller of Franklin was airlifted from Puckett Gliderport to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville after the crash, which occurred shortly after 3 p.m.

'Too low'

"I just happened to look at the thing and I noticed 5 minutes before he came in to land he was too low," said Gary Davis of Murfreesboro, co-owner of the glider, who was watching from the gliderport.

"He just entered the pattern a little low and slow and just went into a spin."

Davis said Miller didn't appear to be badly injured. The helicopter was called by rescuers as a precaution due to what Davis termed a "possible bone chip.

"He got a pretty good lick on his head, kept forgetting where he was at," Davis said.

Miller was unavailable for comment Monday. A VMC spokesperson said this morning Miller is no longer a patient at the facility.

Unexpected visit

The glider took out several tree branches in the front yard of the Johnny May residence before hitting a field, edging into the southbound lane of U.S. 41A and coming to a stop upside down in a field just off the roadway.

May missed much of the excitement.

"I just heard a sound and came out and it was on the pavement," May said while sitting on his front porch watching the helicopter arrive. "I just heard it sliding on the road and it landed."

Low-flying gliders are commonplace at his home which is in the direct flight path of the gliderport, May said.

Experienced pilot

Miller is a familiar face at the gliderport, according to Davis.

"He flew into the port regularly," Davis said. "He took a 10-year break and about a year ago started flying again."

The glider is "a Pik 20D made in Finland," Davis said. "It's a high-performance glider."

Federal Aviation Administration records show the glider, which is registered in Miller's name, was manufactured in 1978 and was last certified on Feb. 15.