Hang Gliding Pilot Who Died At Fort Funston Identified

A man who died Sunday afternoon while hang gliding at San Francisco’s Fort Funston has been identified by the medical examiner’s office as 69-year-old San Francisco resident Rafael Lavin.

At about 3:50 p.m. Sunday, emergency crews received a report of an accident at Fort Funston in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Barden said.

Lavin was found about 30 feet below a cliff south of the launch pad, park service officials said.

A U.S. Park police officer, a National Park Service lifeguard and a U.S. Park ranger performed CPR on Lavin, but a fire department medic pronounced him dead at 4:23 p.m., park service officials said.

Witnesses said the man flew the hang glider into a cliff without trying to steer away, Barden said.

He said first responders are not sure whether Lavin suffered a heart attack or whether he got caught in an updraft of wind.

Park service officials said witnesses told them the accident occurred shortly after takeoff and may have involved mechanical failure.

The cause of the collision and the cause of Lavin’s death remain under investigation.

Lavin’s Facebook profile shows photos and videos of Lavin and friends hang gliding in various locales.

Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

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