Rescuers pluck crashed paraglider from trees

July 21, 2009

By Warren Kagarise


A Whidbey Island Naval Air Station helicopter retrieves a rescuer from Tiger Mountain after airlifting a crashed paraglider June 14. By Greg Farrar

A Whidbey Island Naval Air Station helicopter retrieves a rescuer from Tiger Mountain after airlifting a crashed paraglider June 14. By Greg Farrar

A paraglider pilot crashed into trees on Tiger Mountain Tuesday afternoon, ending his otherwise uneventful flight with broken ribs. Crews freed the trapped pilot from trees during a dramatic rescue as afternoon turned to evening.

Authorities identified the pilot as 47-year-old Spanaway resident Gene Beaver.

A Navy Blackhawk helicopter based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island plucked the pilot from the woods while local crews worked on the ground.

Eastside Fire & Rescue Firefighter Ryan Hendricks said the Navy helicopter crew loaded the injured paraglider pilot into a basket to lift him from Tiger Mountain.

EFR crews and King County Search and Rescue, a volunteer group, coordinated the rescue on the ground as the Navy chopper and news helicopters whirred overhead.

Beaver was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center.

Marc Chirico, owner of Seattle Paragliding on Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast, described Beaver as an experienced pilot who had completed more than 100 paraglider flights.

“He flew mid-day, had a great time,” Chirico said, but “he got himself into a bit too much adventure.”

Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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Comments

One Response to “Rescuers pluck crashed paraglider from trees”

  1. Kimberly Martin on July 22nd, 2009 10:23 am

    The Navy helicopter is actually designated as a MH-60S Knighthawk or Seahawk not a Blackhawk which is what the Army flies. This aircraft is specially outfitted for search and rescue missions on land and at sea.

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