Glider pilot miraculously survives after harness unhooks mid-air, causing him to hold on for dear life
He held on to the bar with his fingertips long enough to crash land on a beach. Although the rough landing tore his ligament and sprained his right knee, he survived.
A hand-glider pilot somehow managed to hang on for dear life after he made a critical error during his setup which caused the harness to separate from his wing mid-air.
The unfortunate incident happened during a flight in California. According to footage of the almost-tragedy recorded by the pilot himself and uploaded on his YouTube channel, he said that he made his first mistake by connecting the carabiner to the velcro rather than the webbing.
The mistake wasn't caught by the pilot until it was already too late and he was already mid-flight. One of the things that might have saved his life was the fact that he ditched his gloves pre-flight because he was not happy with his grip.
Shortly after taking flight by the coast with a road nearby, the glider took his hands off the bar, and allowed himself to hang only by the velcro. All of a sudden, the harness came off the velcro, causing him to swiftly drop. However, the pilot caught himself just in time, allowing himself to stay on the bar.
He held on with his fingertips long enough to crash land on a beach. Although the rough landing tore his ligament and sprained his right knee, he survived.
"I feel incredibly lucky to be alive," he said. "Please be very vigilant when preparing to fly to avoid such an incident."
"Considering I used this hang loop setup for many flights in the mountains, this location is potentially the most fortunate place for such an incident to occur," the pilot added. "I can't imagine having to hold on to the glider for much longer than I did. If this had occurred in the mountains, where the landing zone is farther away from the launch, I doubt that I would have had the strength to hang on for the duration of the flight out to the landing zone."