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Authorities ID Man Killed in Paragliding Incident in Eastern Sierra

Pinnacles rise from the crest just south of Mount Whitney on May 9, 2008, near Lone Pine, California. (Credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

Pinnacles rise from the crest just south of Mount Whitney on May 9, 2008, near Lone Pine, California. (Credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

Inyo County authorities identified a man killed in a paragliding incident in the mountains near King’s Canyon National Park this week.

The victim was identified as Cody Tuttle, 32, of Swall Meadows. He was a professional adventure photographer and experienced paraglider.

Around 1:20 p.m Wednesday, an emergency satellite beacon was activated north of Striped Mountain near the Sierra Crest, about 25 miles south of Bishop, according to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office.

An aerial search located Tuttle’s body at an elevation of 12,600 feet. Due to altitude and afternoon heat, aerial teams were unable to recover Tuttle’s body until the next day.

The Sheriff’s Office said Tuttle had gone on a paragliding trip with two other paraglider pilots to Gabbs, Nevada. A story on Outside magazine’s website later stated that Tuttle and three other paragliders had departed from Walt’s Point, a launch location at 9,000 feet elevation about 10 miles south-southwest of Lone Pine.

The three other pilots landed in Bishop, about 60 miles north of the launch point, Outside reported.

Tuttle’s body was found in a spot about 40 miles from the launch point. It’s not clear whether he activated his beacon while in the air or if it went off on impact.

The Eastern Sierra and Owens Valley, known for serious winds and turbulence, is “considered extreme” for paragliding, Outside stated.

A Facebook page and an Instagram account that appear to be Tuttle’s contain paragliding photos from destinations around the world, along with posts sending condolences. He was a professional adventure photographer, the accounts indicate.

Tuttle, who was sponsored by several outdoor brands, had done paragliding trips in Alaska and Nepal, where he worked for post-earthquake relief efforts. He was planning to return to the Himalayas later this year, according to the last post on his Instagram account.

He is survived by his wife, parents and sister, Outside reported.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new details to clarify information originally provided by the Sheriff’s Office on Tuttle’s flight.

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