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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 2007
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Report: Glider broke apart before crash

SYLACAUGA (AP) — A preliminary report from the Federal Aviation Administration shows a glider broke apart before crashing into a marble quarry in Sylacauga, killing the pilot.

Robert Wallace, 65, of Birmingham, died Saturday afternoon when his unpowered glider crashed into Imery's Quarry after taking off, towed by another plane, from Merkel Field.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Butch Wilson said that investigators combed the crash site Monday looking for clues and learned that the SZD 36A glider's detachable wings folded straight up and broke off during flight.

"We don't know why they folded," Wilson said.

Talladega County Deputy Coroner Shaddix Murphy said witnesses told officials they saw the glider heading toward the quarry and then breaking apart as it approached.

A preliminary report will be posted on the NTSB Web site later this week, but a final report from the National Transportation Safety Board will likely not be complete for six months.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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