THIS is the terrifying moment a hang-glider desperately clings on for life after the pilot forgot to attach him to the craft. The heart-stopping footage shows US holidaymaker Chris Gurksy holding on for more than two minutes as he dangles high above the ground. The tourist posted the footage of his “near death experience” online after a trip to Switzerland that saw him take off from a 4,000 ft mountain edge. At one point, he even appears to be hanging on with just one hand as the hang-glider soars in the air. But despite the terrifying experience, Chris managed to even joke that his left hand had left an “imprint in the metal bar” from gripping it so tightly – and that he would go hang-gliding again. Sharing the footage, Chris wrote: “My first time Hang Gliding turned into a near death experience as my safety harness was never hooked to the Glider. Photographer Chris said he tore his left bicep tendon and had to have surgery on his wrist after the ordeal. In the clip, the pair can be seen running along the grass to take off, with Chris immediately slipping to the side after not being clipped in.
Both he and the pilot quickly realise something has gone wrong, with the instructor trying to haul the tourist up to get a better grip on the bar. The pilot then appears to try to land but struggles to control the glider with one hand. The glider then flies over the mountain and trees, with Chris seen clinging to the metal bar and the pilot’s leg.
Describing the tense two minutes, Chris wrote on Facebook: “My body weight shifted straight down and I found myself hanging on for my life. “I ended up holding on bar with the left hand and the lower part of his leg with the right when we were nearing the ground. I looked down to see my feet hit first, which ripped me off at about 45 mph as it was a hot landing and I was under the landing gear. “I would guesstimate the total flight time was about 5 minutes. When I sat up I knew something was wrong and saw that my wrist was broken.”
As the pair land Chris has a hold of the pilot’s trouser leg before he is close enough to the ground to let go. Chris said: “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. “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.”
He said after impact, he tore his left bicep tendon from “holding on for so long”.
His right wrist also suffered a distal radius fracture, which required surgery to install a titanium plate and seven screws.
But despite the near-death experience, Chris said: “I will go hang gliding again as I did not get to enjoy my first flight.” https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7835625…
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