Man Dies After Flying Hang Glider Directly Into Hill at Fort Funston

A man died Sunday afternoon after the hang glider he was riding flew into a hill at Fort Funston in San Francisco, according to the fire department.

The National Park Service found the 69-year-old man, identified as San Francisco resident Rafael Lavin, 30 feet down the cliff. Authorities did not immediately identify him.

Fire dispatchers got the first report of the incident at about 3:50 p.m. at the popular hang-gliding spot in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Battalion Chief Jeff Barden said. 

Parks officials performed CPR on him but he didn't survive. The man was pronounced dead at 4:23 p.m., according to the park service.

Witnesses said the man flew the hang glider directly into a hill without trying to steer away from it, Barden said.

He said that first responders are not sure whether the man suffered a heart attack or whether he was caught in an updraft of wind.

Barden said the man was hang gliding alone.

Fort Funston and much of the coastline along San Francisco and Daly City is ideal for hang gliding. Strong winds coming in off the Pacific from the west blow into the beachfront cliffs and give lift to the gliders.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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