Hanging on for dear life: US man cheats death after Swiss pilot forgets to attach him to hang-glider

Mr Chris Gurksy shared the heart-stopping video footage of the near-death experience on his YouTube channel.
Mr Chris Gurksy shared the heart-stopping video footage of the near-death experience on his YouTube channel.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

An American holidaymaker who was hang-gliding for the first time nearly lost his life after the pilot forgot to hook him onto the craft.

Florida-based photographer Chris Gurksy, who was on holiday in Switzerland for the first time with his wife, shared the heart-stopping video footage of the near-death experience on his YouTube channel on Monday (Nov 26). The incident happened on the first day of their trip.

He wrote in the video description: "My first time hang-gliding turned into a near-death experience as my safety harness was never hooked to the glider."

"For 2 minutes 14 seconds I had to hang on for my life! The landing was a rough one, but I lived to tell the story."

The footage, which he titled Swiss Mishap, begins with the pilot kicking off from the edge of the mountain, before realising soon after that Mr Gurksy was not attached to it.

According to DailyMail UK, the pair had taken off from a 1,219m-high mountain edge.

Mr Gurksy was seen gripping onto a metal bar with his left hand, while he held onto the pilot's back with his right hand.

The pilot could be seen attempting to steer the craft to landing, but strong winds carried the pair higher and across a field of trees.

At one point, Mr Gurksy loses his grip on the pilot and grabs onto the pilot's leg.

Eventually, the pilot neared the landing area and Mr Gurksy could let go of his grip.

 
 

He told DailyMail UK: "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."

"When I sat up I knew something was wrong and saw that my wrist was broken."

He added that he had to undergo an operation on his fractured wrist, and doctors had to insert a titanium plate and seven screws.

He also tore his left bicep tendon from holding onto the metal bar.

However, Mr Gurksy said that this death-defying experience will not deter him for hang-gliding in the future.

In fact, he praised the pilot for doing all he could to get the hang-glider to safety as quickly as possible.

Said Mr Gurksy: "I will go hang-gliding again as I did not enjoy my first flight."