Vacations are the perfect times to try new things you’re unable to do at home. Like, last year, 8.3 million people tried snorkeling in the United States, which isn’t exactly readily available in, say, Oklahoma.
One man, on the first day of his Switzerland vacation with his wife was trying hang gliding for the first time and something went terribly wrong. Fear is an odd thing. We mentioned snorkeling and many people are terrified of the ocean depths. Last year, 127.6 million people went to the dentist and a vast percentage of them are terrified of that. Fear of heights is quite common and our hang gliding hero is about the bravest person to stare death in the face from hundreds of feet off the ground.
His name is Chris Gursky and while getting set up to go tandem hang gliding along with a professional, the instructor forgot to attach Gursky’s safety harness to the hang glider. Gursky, a literal first timer, doesn’t notice this. That is, until they jump off the cliff and he quickly grabs onto the instructor before they plummet, gliding hundreds of feet off the ground.
These tourist hang gliding companies have cameras attached to the gliders and you can watch all two minutes and fourteen seconds of Gursky hanging on for his life as the pilot maneuvered an emergency landing. Those, we can imagine, were the longest two minutes of his life. Perhaps both of their lives.
“I ended up holding on the 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,” Gursky said.
He made the footage into a video cleverly titled Swiss Mishap, in which he makes fairly humorous commentary considering the circumstances. From the impact of landing, he tore a bicep and broke his wrist, which needed surgery, complete with a titanium plate being inserted. A much more desirable outcome than others we’d rather not think about.
The nausea-inducing video is more than enough for us. Gursky is in good spirits and says he’ll absolutely try hang gliding again. What’s more? He bears the instructor no ill will and is impressed with how he handled an emergency situation. Personally, we’re impressed with how calm Gursky is through all of this because we’re getting sweaty palms just thinking about it.