Hang Glider Pilot Doesn’t Strap In His Passenger

Putting the “hang” in hang glider, a guy holds on for dear life after he realizes he’s not strapped in for the ride. The dopey pilot took off without checking to see if his passenger was strapped in.

That moment when you realize you’re gonna die, looking at such pretty scenery, can be a tad stressful.

At one point he’s only holding on with one hand.

ht/ hot salsa

27 Comments on Hang Glider Pilot Doesn’t Strap In His Passenger

  1. Of course the pilot screwed up, but if I was going on my first, second, one hundredth hang glider ride I would check myself to see where I was tied on.

    9
  2. Gross negligence bordering on criminal. Before I ever got my feet off the ground, I learned that you ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS do a hang check to be sure your harness is securely attached and not tangled. ALWAYS.

    To make matters worse, the pilot had multiple opportunities to grab the passenger’s harness lines’ carabiner and snap it to his own harness. I know adrenalin can cloud your thinking somewhat but it shouldn’t turn you into a complete moron.

    (I have about 100 hours piloting hang gliders.)

    19
  3. I had a very devil may care reckless friend growing up who made it to the age of 32 when his hang glider stalled and fell out of the sky. We all used to kid him about his recklessness and it killed him. He also had a very fast Kawasaki death cycle that he would ride at well over 100 mph. He was a nice guy but had no common sense when it came to danger. He was one of the first guys in my HS class of 1971 to die early.

    6
  4. FYI

    A lot of people think of hang gliding as an extraordinarily dangerous sport. However, as for riskiness, adjusted per capita, body surfing produces more para- and quadriplegics, and downhill skiing more deaths than hang gliding.

    5
  5. @Aaron Burr – Funny you should mention “tree huggin'”. Flying into a nice big leafy tree is the second best way to land a hang glider!

    Also funny you should mention “anti combustion engine” because typically a hang gliding enthusiast drives 10 or more hours for every hour of air time.

    Finally, I know a bunch of HG designers, engineers, and manufacturers and they’re as entrepreneurial and capitalistic a bunch as you’re likely every to meet.

    Now, you’re right about those hang glider pilots who play hacky sack. They are indeed tree huggin’ anti combustion engine hippies. But not the Frisbee Disc™ flippers. They’re just studying the way the wind blows…

    3
  6. I would never do any thing dangerous…..nope, no way, no sirree, no how, unh unh, never, it’s not happening.

    Oh….wait. Uh, er….nevermind.

    3
  7. @Uncle Al: Since you have about 100 hours piloting hang gliders, does that certify you to state that you are well hung?

    😉

    6
  8. I blame the passenger. If you find yourself in a situation that requires you to be strapped up in a full body harness, pay attention to what’s going on.

    Nobody forces you on a carnival ride maintained by carneys and high school kids.

    And there are very good reasons your cabin attendants ask you to keep your seat belt loosely fastened while you are seated in an aircraft moving six hundred miles an hour.

    2
  9. @Lowell – An alert and cautious passenger could indeed have caught that failure to hook in, but there are protocols for tandem flying when the pilot is an instructor and the passenger is a student. (That’s what this video looks like to me.) It is 100% the pilot / instructor’s responsibility to perform each step of the pre-flight checklist, and that most definitely includes a hang check just before launch. This was a near-fatal pilot error.

    2
  10. Reminds me of that old office workplace motivational poster with a kitten hanging on the a clothesline with the caption, “Hang in there!” Well, there ya go….

    2
  11. Aaron – Americans use TESTOSTERONE-OOZING TESTICLES to fly.

    When you say “fly” to a Canadian, he checks his zipper.

    The space shuttle was aerodynamically an expensive glider. Those engines were purely for ballistic purposes, which also took hefty loads of testosterone.

    1
  12. No, really…. ask Chuck Yeager. Something has to ignite to get off the ground. Then you use even more ignitions to try and slam into as many air molecules as you can before exploding into a white and yellow fireball of burning oxygen and toxic combustibles.

    Also, there is no burger joint at a hang glider airport. That’s the entire point of civil aviation. You rent a plane for hundreds, fill it up for hundreds, only to fly 2 and half hours to get a burger at another airport before refueling and flying home.

    I’m supposed to trade that in for a granola bar and conversation with some guy who used to roady for the greatful dead?

    Hell, at my airport I can chat with old guys who killed communists for Ike.

    2
  13. Aaron – I like flying. Little planes, big planes, fast planes, slow planes, up with the clouds, down on the deck, planes with engines, sailplanes, hang gliders. No one kind of flying is mutually exclusive with any of the others.

    But the different thing about hang gliding is nobody from the govt has anything to do with it. Nobody at all.

    Just don’t soar over Camp David.

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