Pixel Tracker

Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 5:56 pm | Fair 64º


Paraglider Plunges 3,000 Feet to Death in Rattlesnake Canyon Above Santa Barbara

Authorities say father-daughter team flying tandem when Ronald Faoro reportedly slipped from harness and fell; girl hurt in subsequent crash

Emergency crews responded to the 2900 block of Gibraltar Road above Santa Barbara on Sunday after a paraglider fell some 3,000 feet to his death. The man’s daughter, who was tandem flying with him, suffered minor injuries after she crash-landed.
Emergency crews responded to the 2900 block of Gibraltar Road above Santa Barbara on Sunday after a paraglider fell some 3,000 feet to his death. The man’s daughter, who was tandem flying with him, suffered minor injuries after she crash-landed. (Alys Martinez / KEYT News photo)

A man was killed Sunday afternoon when he fell several thousand feet from a paraglider into a rugged canyon in the mountains above Santa Barbara, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The accident occurred at about 12:30 p.m. in the area of La Cumbre Peak off the 2900 block of Gibraltar Road, Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason said.

A father and daughter were flying tandem, Eliason said, and the man, who was not adequately clipped in, became detached from the paraglider and fell an estimated 3,000 feet into upper Rattlesnake Canyon.

(Officials initially said the two were tandem flying a hang-glider, but later updated to say it was a paraglider.)

The daughter, a juvenile who is not an experienced pilot, stayed with the paraglider and crashed into a tree, Eliason said.

He said the man’s body was located, and his remains were recovered.

He was identified Monday as Ronald Faoro, 60, of Santa Barbara.

A local veterinarian and owner of St. Francis Pet Clinic, Faoro was active in the local paragliding community.

Emergency crews located the daughter, who was still strapped into the paraglider and suspended on a rock face, Eliason said.

He said she suffered minor injuries, and was hoisted by a county helicopter and flown to nearby St. Mary’s Seminary at 1964 Las Canoas Road.

From there she was taken by American Medical Response ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

The daughter's name was not released.

County firefighters were assisted on the incident by crews from the Santa Barbara and Montecito fire departments, the U.S. Forest Service, the sheriff's Search & Rescue Team, and AMR, Eliason said.

A UC Santa Barbara Geology Department field trip group was in the area and witnessed the accident, Eliason said, adding that members of the group were helpful in locating the victims.

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story. 

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.