First Time Hang-Glider Clings On For His Life After Pilot Forgets To Attach Him

Hang-gliding doesn’t really look like a sport for the faint-hearted. There’s no engines, minimal control (that’s probably not true, btw) and just mere air between the glider and the floor. But it is incredible to watch – from the safety of your car – which is probably why YouTuber Chris Gursky decided to give it a crack… and boy, how he regretted that.

Mr Gursky, from Florida, was on the first day of his holiday in Switzerland when what should have been a fun activity turned into a ‘near death experience’ because the pilot controlling the hang-glider forgot to harness him in.

What a mistake to make, eh?

According to the MailOnline, the pair took off from a 4,000 foot mountain edge (terrifying enough on its own) which led to Mr Gursky ‘hanging on for his life’ for two minutes and 14 seconds.

At one point Chris Gursky was even holding on to the pilot's leg. Credit: YouTube/Gursk3
At one point Chris Gursky was even holding on to the pilot’s leg. Credit: YouTube/Gursk3

Mr Gursky grabbed hold of the metal bar in front of him with one hand and the other held on to the pilot’s harness.

In his attempts to quickly glide them to safety the instructor struggled to control the craft and they flew over trees and seemed to climb.

Chris Gursky had a 'near death experience' on the first day of his holiday to Switzerland. Credit: YouTube/Gursk3
Chris Gursky had a ‘near death experience’ on the first day of his holiday to Switzerland. Credit: YouTube/Gursk3

As Mr Gursky, an auto-parts manager and photographer, became closer to the ground he let go, tearing his left bicep tendon.

He also had to have surgery on his right wrist after suffering a fragmented distal radius fracture which required a titanium plate and seven screws.

Mr Gursky had to have surgery on his wrist after a hang-gliding instructor didn't strap him in. Credit: YouTube/Gursk3
Mr Gursky had to have surgery on his wrist after a hang-gliding instructor didn’t strap him in. Credit: YouTube/Gursk3

He told the MailOnline: “My body weight shifted straight down and I found myself hanging on for my life.

“I remember looking down and thinking, this is it. I was losing grip with my right hand, that was holding onto a strap on the pilot’s right shoulder. He was trying to make a bee line to the landing field as he knew what the situation could bring.

“My left hand was on the cross bar that was ultimately the landing gear, with a wheel on each side. As we were going down for a hot landing I was slowly losing my grip with my right hand as I was swinging in the wind with the glider.

“The pilot grabbed my hand, but like in the movies it was a slow motion slipping of the grip until my right hand slipped off and I grabbed another strap on his left side for a bit but this slipped off also.

“For two min. 14 seconds I had to hang on for my life! The landing was a rough one, but I lived to tell the story.”

Chris Gursky took off before discovering the instructor failed to attach him to the hang-glider. Credit: YouTube/Gursk3
Chris Gursky took off before discovering the instructor failed to attach him to the hang-glider. Credit: YouTube/Gursk3

Regardless of the pilot’s failure to strap him to the hang-glider, Mr Gursky did praise his efforts, saying: “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.

“I will go hang gliding again as I did not enjoy my first flight.”

We’d be pretty worried if he did enjoy it… and here’s to us never hang-gliding, not that I was ever planning on. I’ll stick to the car.

By Rebecca Shepherd @ Ladbible

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