First-Time Hang Glider Hangs on For Dear Life as Pilot Forgets to Strap Him In

This definitely beats whatever you did on the first day of your most recent vacation. Chris Gursky and his wife went to Interlaken in Switzerland and he opted to go hang gliding – and ended up hanging on for dear life after the pilot forgot to strap him in.
Man goes hang gliding but pilot forgets to strap him in, so he has to hold on with his hands until landing 6 photos
Photo: YouTube / Chris Gursky
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To Chris’ credit, he’s very gracious about this oversight on the part of the pilot, as you can see in the video at the bottom of the page, which documents the entire hair-rising ride that lasted well over 2 minutes.

When Chris and the pilot were still on the ground, there was no sign of trouble. However, trouble became apparent when they got up in the air and Chris realized that the pilot had forgotten to secure him to the glider, which meant that his harness was solely for fashion purposes, as he hung in the air, holding on with just his hands.

The pilot too understood what was happening and strove to bring the glider back down. He was having trouble controlling it, which meant it took him over 2 minutes until he could land securely. All this time, Chris was holding on with his left hand on the landing gear and his right on the pilot. The pilot was also holding him with one hand, and steering the glider with the other.

Chris wasn’t able to hold on when they approached ground and he let go before the glider had landed. He hit the ground at 45 mph and broke a wrist. However, he says, he’s happy with that because the alternative would have been infinitely worse.

He needed surgery for his wrist and had to nurse a torn tendon in his bicep, but he’s willing to give hang gliding another try.

“While the pilot made a critical error in our pre-flight set up by not attaching me to the glider, he did all he could to get me down to the ground as quickly as possible while grabbing onto my harness and flying with one hand,” Chris says in the video. He adds with humor: “I will go hang gliding again as I did not enjoy my first flight.”

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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