World Champion Hang Glider Narrowly Escapes Horrifying In-Air Collapse

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Posted by Heisenberg 2018 years ago in Accidents
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A hang glider has collapsed during an aerobatic performance, sending its pilot tumbling towards the ground. Aerobatic hang gliding world champion Jon Gjerde was performing at the Extreme Sports Week festival in Voss, Norway early last week for parachute show Extreme Voss when the accident occurred, Norwegian publication Bregensavisen reports. Video from a GoPro camera attached to Mr Gjerde’s glider shows the framework giving way, leading to the pilot’s downward spin. Mr Gjerde described in a Facebook post how his “eyesight disappeared” as he “fought hard against the g-force [unit of acceleration] to salvage the situation”. Mr Gjerde eventually managed to deploy a parachute, landing safely in a lake below. He was then escorted by boat to a waiting ambulance. He escaped the mishap with only facial bruising, swelling and burst capillaries in his eyes. The pilot’s symptoms are believed to have been caused by the intense gravitational forces placed on his body after the broken hang glider began to rotate rapidly. Witness and fellow hang glider Morten Erdel said watching the accident take place “felt like an eternity”.

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