A glider pilot was killed after his aircraft crashed and ejected him.

The pilot, 21, died after the crash in a field near Hurston Lane, Storrington, just before 11am on Saturday, September 24, last year. He was found 26 metres away from the wreckage. 

A report has now revealed that going down "rapidly", the glider hit the ground at "high speed".

Pictures of the aircraft from an inspection have revealed that the elevator, or tail wing, of the plane which controls the pitch, or angle, of the plane was not connected to its control rod. 

The Argus: Pictures from the glider crash

The report investigating the incident by the government's air accidents investigation branch (AAIB) said it is "unlikely" that positive control checks were carried out prior to the flight. 

"Positive control checks offer the ability to detect a mis-rigging condition before flight," the report said. 

The pilot was ejected from the aircraft during the accident sequence and was found 26 m from the aircraft and had sustained fatal injuries.

Witnesses to the flight described the initial stages of the takeoff as "normal" but then as speed increased noted that the glider seemed to be more nose down than usual.

The Argus: An aerial image of the destroyed gliderAn aerial image of the destroyed glider (Image: AAIB)

"The tug aircraft left the ground before the glider which was also considered unusual," the report said.

"After becoming airborne following a longer ground run than usual, the glider pitched down and bounced twice. Once it became airborne again witnesses described the glider as being in a low towing position.

"Eyewitnesses on the ground saw the glider release the tow in the left turn. After the release they described the glider pitching down at a steep angle until they lost sight of it behind trees.

"Personnel from the gliding club called the emergency services and made their way to the accident site with the airfield fire vehicle. On scene they conducted CPR on the injured pilot, but he had sustained fatal injuries."

In a statement at the time of the incident, Sussex Police said: "Police responded to a report of a glider crashing into a field near Hurston Lane in Storrington, just before 11am on Saturday September 24.

"A man who was both the pilot and sole occupant of the glider, sustained serious injuries.

"Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of paramedics and colleagues from the Air Ambulance service, he sadly died at the scene. The coroner has been informed."