Gliders Unharmed After Colliding at Torrey Pines Gliderport

The paragliders tangled together 100 feet in the air

Two paragliders got tangled together 100 feet in the air at the Torrey Pines Glider Port Friday afternoon just after 2 p.m. 

After the collision both pilots managed to deploy their back-up parachutes and pull off an emergency landing within seconds as they fell to the cliffs below.

“What's going through my mind? As soon as you collide I'm going to hit the cliff. That's what's going through my mind,” Dave Maples told NBC 7.

Maples, who survived the collision, was absolutely right.

They did hit the cliff. Maples said the other pilot was higher than him and she caught the wing on her left side. That's when the parachutes got tangled together.

As they began to spin they went down. The paragliders were stranded on the side of the cliff for a short amount of time afterwards before lifeguards came in from the bottom of the cliff and others from the top.

Rescuers helped the paragliders get their equipment together then escorted them to lifeguard trucks on the beach.

“Actually it was pretty calm. The other pilot threw her reserve first, then I threw mine right after her, and that's what slowed us down,” Maples explained.

Lifeguard Mike Cranston said the paragliders are lucky to have walked away from the incident. He told NBC 7 the pilot showed him his helmet and it didn't have a single scrape on it.

“It’s just amazing that they hit each other and they fell to the ground in a controlled emergency descent, they were not injured. We were expecting that this was going to be a bad one from the information we had and we are very happy to see that there are no injuries and nobody has to go to the hospital from this incident,” Cranston said.

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