Authorities ID glider killed northwest of Phoenix

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

AGUILA, Ariz. (AP) -- Authorities have identified a man who was killed while piloting his glider plane in the desert northwest if Phoenix.

Maricopa County Sheriff's spokesman Christopher Hegstrom says 61-year-old Robert Knauff died Saturday afternoon after his glider crashed to the ground in Aguila.

Hegstrom says Knauff was about 100 feet in the air when a towrope connecting him to an airplane somehow became disconnected.

Witnesses told investigators Knauff appeared to try making a sharp turn and then the glider plane stalled, hitting a pole.

Knauff was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hegstrom says Knauff, a retired Army major general, was the registered owner of the aircraft.

There were no other injuries.

Aguila is about 85 miles outside of Phoenix.

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AGUILA, Ariz. -- A man has died in a glider accident in the desert near Aguila, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities say the glider was being towed by a plane when, about 100 feet up in the air, the tow rope somehow disconnected.

The man piloting the glider, 61-year-old Robert Knauff, tried to make a left turn, but crashed into a pole and died on impact, according to the sheriff's office.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash, and said the National Transportation Safety Board has been notified and will determine the probable cause.