An American tourist who wanted to try hang gliding for the first time while on vacation in Switzerland posted some harrowing footage of his "near death experience" to YouTube after his pilot forgot to attach his harness to the aircraft.
Chris Gursky posted footage to his YouTube channel of his first-time hang gliding experience in Switzerland that was supposed to see him gliding gracefully through the clear blue Swiss skies. Instead, he found himself clinging for dear life to the aircraft for the longest 2 minutes 14 seconds of his life.
According to Gursky, the pilot was supposed to strap him into the hang glider, but shortly after take-off, the pair realized his harness hadn't been attached to anything at all.
"My first time hang gliding had an unexpected twist when I left the ground unattached from the glider," Gursky wrote.
In the video, Gursky and the pilot run to take off, and soar into the sky, but a 'fun' ride quickly turns desperate as the pair realizes the harness hadn't been tethered to the craft. The next few minutes are spent by the two men trying to get to terra firma as quickly as possible.
Making things even more difficult, is the pilot is trying to hold on to the passenger with one hand, while attempting to steer the hang glider with the other. Eventually, the pilot brings the hang glider low enough for Gursky to safely let go and fall to the ground.
Gursky survived the landing, but did end up fracturing his right wrist, which required surgery to install a titanium plate and seven screws. He also tore his left bicep tendon because of how long he held onto the hang gliding bar.
As Chris wrote in the video, it beats the alternative.
"While the pilot made a critical error in our pre-flight setup 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 on to my harness and flying with one hand."
"For 2 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 says he plans on trying hang gliding again, since he didn't get to enjoy his first flight.