Pilot of ill-fated glider flight in Utah identified as Colorado man
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The Iron County Sheriff's Department identified the pilot of a glider that crashed and died Monday while participating in a competition.

Detective Jody Edwards said Michael Packard, 65, of Littleton, Colo., was flying the glider when it plummeted 2,000 feet into a field shortly after he was released from a tow plane. The crash site is about a mile west of Interstate 15 near the Paragonah exit.

Edwards said Packard's family visited the crash site Tuesday. The FAA is investigating the accident; if the crash is determined to be a result of mechanical failure, the National Transportation Safety Board will also investigate, Edwards said. The plane was mostly demolished.

Packard was one of about 58 pilots participating in a competition at the Parowan airport that ends Saturday. During the event, pilots fly to and from regional landmarks in gliders equipped with GPS chips that record flight times. The fastest pilot wins.

On Monday, competitors were soaring to the Grand Canyon and back.

Mark Havnes