Lakeside Resident Dies in Ferndale Glider Crash

By Beacon Staff

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office released the name of the man killed in a July 8 glider crash in Ferndale.

Douglas Sameit, a 61-year-old resident of Lakeside, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, according to a press release from Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry.

Sameit was a retired airline pilot and held a Federal Aviation Administration Glider Instructor certificate, the release states.

The second man involved in the crash, Gordon Schmidt, was transported to Kalispell Regional Medical Center via ALERT helicopter. The 70-year-old Washington resident and Bigfork summer resident was stabilized at KRMC then transported to Seattle for further treatment.

According to Curry, Schmidt is the owner and operator of Wave Soaring Adventures Inc., which provides glider rides and instruction. The company was in its first season of operation in the Flathead.

Schmidt is a glider instructor and an FAA designated pilot examiner for the certification of new glider pilots, according to the sheriff’s statement.

The National Traffic Safety Bureau and the FAA are investigating the crash.