- A US tourist had a close call when he went hang gliding in Switzerland.
- Chris Gursky was trying the air sport for the first time when things went disastrously wrong.
- Gursky and his pilot launched off from a Swiss mountain – but Gursky wasn’t attached to the glider.
- Gursky held on for about two minutes as the pilot grappled with the glider with one hand and held on to his passenger with the other.
- The pilot managed to make an emergency landing and Gursky survived the experience with nothing more than a broken wrist and torn bicep.
- The tourist shared terrifying footage of his flight on YouTube.
- Gursky said in the video that although the pilot had made a crucial error by not attaching him to the glider, he’d also saved his life by managing to land them safely while grappling for control.
US tourist Chris Gursky got more than he bargained for on his first hang-gliding trip while on holiday in Switzerland.
Gursky, an auto-parts manager from Florida, was on his first day of a trip to Europe with his wife when his flying experience went wrong.
In footage shared by Gursky on YouTube, he and a pilot can be seen on the edge of a mountain, where they run and leap into the air; however, it immediately becomes apparent that Gursky is not attached to the glider.
Gursky then clings to the glider and the pilot for about two minutes before they manage to make an emergency landing.
In captions written over the video, Gursky said the pilot tried to make an emergency landing sooner but was struggling to keep the glider under control as he steered with one hand and held on to his passenger with the other.
The pair fly higher as Gursky clings onto the metal bar and the leg of the pilot’s pants.
“Can’t hold on much longer,” Gursky wrote, as, in the video, he and the pilot begin to descend over a small settlement.
Finally, though, the pilot is able to drop low enough for Gursky to release himself – in doing so breaking his wrist – while the pilot manages to land the glider safely.
Gursky said that his wrist required surgery and that he’d torn his bicep from clinging on to the glider for so long.
He added that while the pilot made a “critical error” in not attaching him to the glider, he also did everything he could to get Gursky to the ground safely while flying with one hand.
He ended the video by writing, “I will go Hang Gliding again as I did not get to enjoy my first flight.”
“My body weight shifted straight down and I found myself hanging on for my life,” Gursky said of his scrape with death, according to the Daily Mail.
“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 beeline to the landing field as he knew what the situation could bring.
“My left hand was on the crossbar 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.
“I ended up holding on to 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.
“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.
“For two minutes and 14 seconds I had to hang on for my life! The landing was a rough one, but I lived to tell the story.”