Terrifying Video: US Tourist Nearly Falls to Death When Hang Glider Pilot Forgets to Attach Harness
An elementary mistake made by a Swiss hang gliding pilot had a US tourist holding on for his life — and it was all caught on camera. Chris Grusky, an auto-parts manager from Florida, decided to kick off his trip to Switzerland with a thrill-seeking experience on the very first day, but it didn't quite go as expected.
The horrifying video starts with Grusky and the pilot looking over the popular tourist area of Interlaken before running off the 4,000-foot mountain. Once the pair took off, they quickly realized something had gone terribly wrong. The pilot never attached the tourist's harness to the glider.
For more than two minutes, Grusky was freely hanging, with the bar grasped in one hand and the pilot's leg in the other. The pilot tried to hold on to him as he steered the glider and attempted an abrupt landing. The pilot had only gone into the business a year ago, according to the operator of another Swiss hang gliding company.
"I looked down once and I thought to myself: This is it, I'm going to fall to my death. I'm a goner," Grusky said on Good Morning America.
"This is such a basic mistake," the president of the Swiss Hang Gliding Association (SGV), Christian Boppart, told Swiss news. “The sort of mistake in the video is what you learn in your first hour of training." Boppart explained that pilots go under lengthy training as solo pilots before receiving a provisional license, and that hand gliding and paragliding is very safe in Switzerland. Additionally, a spokesperson for Interlaken Tourism told the site that there are "thousands of landings" each year.
Shockingly, another Swiss news site claims that the pilot in the video is still operating flights in Interlaken.
After experiencing a hang glider's worst nightmare, fracturing his wrist and tearing his left bicep tendon, Grusky ended the video stating "I will go hang gliding again, as I did not get to enjoy my first flight."