A University of Arizona medical student paragliding in Las Cienegas National Conservation Area southeast of Tucson died Sunday after a gust of wind sent him crashing into the ground.
Zach Orman, 28, was a paragliding instructor. He was attempting to land at about noon Sunday when a strong wind caused him to lose control.
“It appears he was about 15 feet off the ground when he got caught in that cross wind or dust devil and ... Mr. Orman was violently thrown to the ground at a great speed,” Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said.
Ormon was air-lifted to a Tucson hospital where he died, Estrada said.
Paragliding is similar to hang gliding. They are both non-motorized, self-launched types of flying. However, while hang gliders have kite-like frames, paragliders look more like parachutes.