LAKEWOOD, N.J. (AP) _ A 75-year-old ultralight pilot who won nationwide acclaim as a leading expert on the unconventional planes died Saturday when his ultralight crashed onto a golf course less than a mile away from his flight center.

Vincent Vitollo's ultralight nose-dived to the ground, killing him and critically injuring a passenger, Theodore Koziol of Brick Township.

Investigators do not know what caused the plane to crash, said Gregory Sakowicz, an executive assistant Ocean County prosecutor. Authorities said the weather was clear and the winds were low.

Vitollo trained thousands of people to fly ultralights, and last year won a national award from the U.S. Ultralight Association for promoting and advancing the sport, said Richard Dinnerman, an ultralight pilot.

The crash was not the first time an ultralight pilot has died in Lakewood. On July 25, 1994, a pilot died when a plane that took off from Vitollo's Ultralight Flight Center crashed.