Midair collision in Utah kills 1, injures 2 others

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A mid-air collision between a hang glider and a paraglider in Utah killed the paraglider's pilot, seriously injured his passenger and injured the hang glider's pilot, police said Wednesday.

The two planes collided and crashed around 5 p.m. Tuesday near Salt Lake County Flight Park, a popular spot for unpowered planes to take off from a mountainside and catch updrafts in Draper, a suburb south of Salt. Lake City.

Both unpowered planes took off from the park and came down hard in the same nearby area, Draper police Lt. Mike Elkins said.

Paraglider pilot Joshua Ellison, 44, died before he could be taken to hospital. A tandem passenger, whose identity was not released, was in critical condition at a hospital, Elkins said.

The hang glider pilot went to a hospital with unknown injuries, Elkins said.

A hang glider is a triangular, kite-like aircraft flown by a pilot who is suspended horizontally below. A paraglider is an elongated parachute designed for gliding with a pilot suspended in a seated position.

Ellison was an experienced paraglider pilot. The conditions at that time were clear and mild. Few accidents have occurred at the park in the past 15 years, Elkins said.

"Generally, for the amount of traffic, they're very conversant," Elkins said. "This is very extrange. “Our hearts go out to that community.”

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