Ever Wonder What Could Go Wrong While Paragliding?

Kevin Philipp figures he saved himself with about a second to spare
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2022 5:15 PM CDT
Ever Wonder What Could Go Wrong While Paragliding?
This screenshot is from a YouTube video titled "Acro Paragliding Gone Wrong!"   (Kevin Philipp via YouTube screengrab)

(Newser) – If you've ever considered paragliding (much less the "acro" version), consider first how you might react if you found yourself in Kevin Philipp's situation. The professional acrobatic paraglider very nearly plunged to his death, per TMZ, and the ordeal was captured on a vertigo-inducing video. In a statement on YouTube, Philipp explained that the break line on his chute got stuck while he was attempting a trick amid strong turbulence. Judging by the video, everything got tangled up about as bad as it could, including his emergency chute. He struggled with the mess for nearly a minute while plummeting at ever-increasing speed toward the sort of landing one cannot walk away from.

Philipp estimates he had about one second left to exercise his last resort: manually breaking open his emergency pack, which finally deployed when he was about a stone's throw off the ground. Upon landing safely, he can be heard emitting a joyful peep and saying, "Oh my God!" According to Australia's 9News, the near disaster occurred in Organya, Spain, an acro paragliding hotspot. Also in his statement, Philip explains that "in acro paragliding, we face a lot of tries and errors in learning the tricks," and safe training requires multiple rescue chutes and high altitudes. "This occasion is quite unlucky and rare. Just to keep in mind: Fly high, land safe," he concludes. (Read more paragliding stories.)

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