A “well-known pilot in the soaring community” died July 10 after his glider crashed 2 to 3 miles east of the Moriarty Airport.
Airport manager Bob Hudson described Renard “Renny” Rozzoni as a “dear friend” and “a very good pilot,” adding, “We’re all shaking our heads over here, trying to figure out what happened.”
State Police responded to a report of a downed aircraft in Torrance County on private land near Stage Coach Lane at about 8:30 p.m., according to spokeswoman Lt. Elizabeth Armijo.
According to Armijo, Rozzoni was flying his 2017 Ventus 3F glider when it crashed for unknown reasons; he sustained fatal injuries in the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the cause and nature of the crash, according to Armijo.
“I know Renny very, very well—he was a dear friend,” Hudson said. “I’ve been out here [at the Moriarty Airport] for 17 years, and Renny was out here longer than that. He was a very good pilot and well-known in the soaring community.”
Rozzoni owned a hangar at the Moriarty Airport, which is known worldwide for its soaring conditions.
Hudson said Rozzoni was a West Point graduate who served in the Army before going to work for a big oil company. He lived in Albuquerque, and is survived by his wife Joan and three adult children, Hudson said.