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Glider pilot dead in Utah County crash

Published June 23, 2014 8:42 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A glider pilot was killed when his experimental aircraft crashed Sunday afternoon near Utah County's Cedar Valley Airport.

Utah County sheriff's Deputy Max Morgan on Monday identified the victim as 60-year-old Jeff Knell of Salt Lake City.

Morgan said sheriff's dispatchers got a 911 call reporting the crash at 2:20 p.m. Sunday. Knell, described as an experienced flyer familiar with the Cedar Valley area, was dead at the scene, about 10 miles west of Lehi.

Witnesses reported Knell was flying at about 7,500 feet when he began to lose altitude quickly and crashed nose-first into the ground about a half-mile south of the airport, according to a news release.

Morgan said Federal Aviation Administration investigators were at the scene Monday to determine the cause of the accident, including witness reports that the glider may have sustained a sudden wind gust just prior to the crash.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims