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Caught on cam: Close call on Swiss hang glider

Posted at 4:44 PM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-28 00:36:09-05

SARASOTA, Fla. — A Florida man is sharing what it was like to hold on to a hang glider while desperately trying not to fall. The entire ordeal was caught on video.

As Chris Gursky was about to take off, it became clear his pilot had not attached his harness to the glider.

“Right after my feet left the ground it was just like, ‘Is this how it’s supposed to be? Something’s not right here,'” he said.

He could barely hang on, clinging for life 4,000 feet in the air for more than two minutes.

“At one point I looked down and I saw the scenery down there, it was all the treetops changing colors and the little farm houses and I actually thought to myself, ‘That is beautiful. I am going to fall to my death here,'” Gursky said. “I probably had five seconds left in me because my hand was starting to slip off that bar.”

The incident happened last month on what was supposed to be an adventure trip to Switzerland. Gursky’s wife took off before him and was unaware of what was happening.

“I didn’t really dwell on it,” he said. “I just thought, ‘I’m just going to hang on as hard as I can for as long as I can.'”

Gursky said he hit the ground going about 45 mph, breaking his wrist and tearing a muscle. Now back to work at a car dealership in Sarasota, Florida, he’s talking about the near-death experience — and grateful his wife had a different pilot.

Gursky said he realizes his pilot made an error, but credits him for trying to pull him up during the frightening flight. In fact, he said he may want to do it all over again — this time with the harness attached.

Watch the whole video here.