Chris Santacroce

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Chris Santacroce is one of the best paraglider pilots the world has ever known, winning major championships in aerobatics and cross-country events and inventing new tricks that remain the benchmark for other pilots.  Chris is also the designated driver for the Red Bull Air Force ultralight, an expert paramotor pilot, and a seasoned skydiver and B.A.S.E. jumper, all of which make him one of the most experienced athletes in the elite crew that is the RBAF.

Chris's own life was changed early: he became a full-time paragliding professional at age 17. A natural at cross-country events (ranking in North America's top ten for a full decade and winning the continent's championship), he proved to be equally adept at aerobatics. Chris added B.A.S.E. jumping and skydiving to his repertoire in 2001, and his eye for photography and videography is extraordinary.   Although the athlete modestly downplays his community involvement, he's won a special place in the hearts of many through the tandem paragliding and ultralight trike rides he offers to people with disabilities. "I'm introducing 'Santa's Therapeutic Flight Program,'" he reveals, "geared toward using aviation as a tool to help the physically handicapped along with those suffering from challenges like ADD and autism."

Follow Chris Santacroce on Twitter: @ChrisSantacroce