Pilot killed in glider crash in Minooka

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A southwest suburban man died in a glider crash Saturday afternoon in Minooka.

About 3:30 p.m., 69-year-old James M. Patton was the pilot of a private glider that crashed into a field near the the Chicago Glider Club Gliderport in the 26000 block of West Airport Road in Minooka, authorities said.

The aircraft detached from its tow rope shortly after takeoff and crashed a short time later, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Patton, of Tinley Park, was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:30 p.m., the Will County coroner’s office said. Preliminary autopsy reports Monday revealed Patton suffered multiple injuries in the crash.

Preliminary statements from witnesses indicate that the takeoff appeared normal but possibly stalled shortly after the the glider went airborne, the FAA said in a statement. The Channahon Fire Department and Minooka Fire and Police Departments assisted on the scene.

The Will County sheriff’s office, the FAA and the NTSB are all investigating the incident.

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