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Wheelchair Tandem Paragliding with Seattle Paragliding

Jul 29th 2014

by Laura Hippert

Chris Santacroce was at Tiger Mountain, near Seattle, this weekend to take some passengers with spinal cord injuries on tandem flights! What a blast!
During the weekends, Tiger Mountain is usually packed with eager Paragliders waiting to take a leap of faith off the edge of the mountain. Pilots are connected to a harness which is attached to a paraglider. A paraglider is considered to be a glider as opposed to a parachute. It has a glide ratio of about 10 to 1. So every 10 feet flown forwards, the paraglider will sink 1 foot.
When the conditions are right, paragliders can fly hundreds of miles cross-country and stay in the air for hours at a time. The beauty of it is that you only really need your hands to operate a paraglider. I have seen paraglider pilots with

SCI launch and land at Tiger Mountain. In each situation, Team Chirico members and other local pilots will help the SCI pilot launch and land. It's amazing to see other pilots run out into the landing field to catch a SCI pilot as they are landing!

Hopefully one day, we will be able to put on a Demo Day with Chris Santacroce down here in San Diego!

Here's a little about Chris: "...Chris is also passionate about using airports as a therapeutic tool to help people overcoming traumatic injuries, along with those suffering from challenges like ADD. Chris spends much of his time in the air giving back to the community, tandem paragliding and giving ultralight trike rides to people facing serious disabilities. After suffering a nearly tragic spinalcord injury himself, Chris reached out to the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation to support their ongoing research with his unique perspective on life-changing spinal injuries. Chris lives and teaches in the world-class paragliding destination of Salt Lake City with his wife, son and daughter."

Read more about Chris Santacroce on his website,