Man Dressed as Santa in Flying 'Go Kart' Is Rescued After Getting Stuck in Calif. Power Lines
A man hoping to spread some Christmas cheer had to be rescued after a sleigh-ride snafu.
Dressed as Santa Claus, the man had been using a motorized personal aircraft to deliver candy canes to children in a suburb of Sacramento, California when he got caught up in some power lines, officials said. He was later helped to safety by the Sacramento Fire Department.
"We typically don't respond to a 'Rudolph lane-changed me' call, but when you get multiple calls ... it's best to go check it out," the California Highway Patrol of North Sacramento wrote on Facebook Sunday, sharing photos of the incident that showed the man tangled up in the wires.
"Turns out Santa was trying to get some last minute fun in before the holiday and got into a hot wire situation," the CHP quipped. "Don't worry! ... he wasn't hurt and @metro_fire_sacramento is helping him down."
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"We are happy to report #Santa is uninjured and will be ready for #Christmas next week, but perhaps with a new sleigh!" Metro Fire of Sacramento tweeted Sunday alongside a video of the rescue, going on to share that the man was operating a "hyper light" craft, "not a hang glider as originally reported."
Crystal Kennedy, a resident who lives near the site of the crash, told Sacramento's CBS13 that she sees the man "flying around all of the time. It's like some kind of go-kart with a parachute on top of it."
"He was just flying over here to drop off some candy canes for the kids. And, that's when he experienced engine problems," she added.
A friend of the pilot named Angela told the same outlet that he "came in a little too low," also saying, "He did it. He went ahead and did it. He hit the power line. He scared me with it yesterday."
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According to local station KCRA 3, the Federal Aviation Administration reported that the man got tangled up in the power lines around 11 a.m. local time, after first taking off near a Rio Linda-area school.
"Immediately after power was shut off, we were able to move firefighters up into the power line and then lower the pilot — Santa Claus — down to safety," Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District's Christ Vestal told KCRA 3.
And while the outing didn't quite pan out the way the man had hoped, it's the thought that counts.
"He was trying to deliver candy canes to kids that were playing through in the community," Vestal continued. "We commend him for that. It's unfortunate, but we all need to remember that there's still good out in the world there are people doing good things and look at the brightness of the holiday season."