A dramatic mid-air collision between a male hang glider and a female paraglider was captured on video by another paraglider in the crowded skies over the Gold Coast hinterland of Australia over the weekend. The video appears to show the hang glider running into the lines of the paraglider, causing the two to drop in a heap. Moments later, the video shows a reserve chute had been deployed, apparently by the hang glider. Amazingly, neither was injured in the fall. Watch and see how lucky they were:
The hang glider and paraglider ended up in a thick forest some 328 feet down the side of a steep cliff with the trees essentially catching them. It was unclear if both were aided by the reserve parachute. Each was found tangled in ropes and lines in separate trees some 60 feet high. It took 10 firefighters using ropes to reach the stranded fliers and lower them to safety.
"There were no injuries, apart from their pride I'd suspect," fire officer Mark Gribble told The Sunday Mail. "They were very lucky."
Indeed, they were extremely lucky.
Interestingly, the discussion under the YouTube post by paraglider Matthew Tillson centered on who caused the accident. Some commenters singled out the hang glider as the one at fault, saying he had plenty of time to change course.
However, the hang glider's mother came to his defense, posting several comments in an attempt to explain what happened.
"You should get your facts before you pass that judgment," Kay Svensen wrote. "She (the paraglider) was above him. If you saw the other footage presented, you would see that. She descended and turned left into his path …
"The hang gliding pilot was my son. The footage is shown on one angle. You see only one perspective. The paraglider dropped altitude and turned into his path. He didn't even see her coming at him. He has been cleared of any fault in this. Because the authorities saw other footage from different angles. My son normally has a camera on his hang glider and if you were to see it, you would see that his head is constantly moving from side to side always looking out."
Bottom line, both somehow managed to escape what could have been a very tragic outcome.