'Speedwing' rider seriously injured in crash near Makapu'u - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

'Speedwing' rider seriously injured in crash near Makapu'u

MAKAPU'U (HawaiiNewsNow) - A speedwing rider who crashed above Makapu'u Monday is in serious condition.

According to officials, a man in his 30s was coming in for a landing when he clipped a rock, fell about 15 feet and landed sprawled out on a steep cliff face several hundred feet high.

The Honolulu Fire Department sent up its Air 1 helicopter, but the gusty tradewinds made for a tricky rescue because the updraft that the gliders depend on created turbulence for the rescue helicopter.

The president of the Hawaiian Hang Gliding Association explains what is different about a speedwing.

"The fly a lot faster and they're more maneuverable than normal paragliders are. They're also different from hang gliders. They have no rigid frame unlike a hang glider does," president of the Hawaiian Hang Gliding Association Sam Nottage said.

Apparently speedwing riders started flying at Makapu'u in the past two to three years.

They are typically younger pilots who do more stunts and fly closer to the mountain.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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