Two words you never want to hear while dangling hundreds of feet above the ground, held aloft only by sheets of fabric, rope and the wind: "Oh no!"
But when you're watching a paraglider and hang glider collide in midair, right in front of you, what else is there to say? Paraglider Matthew Tillson captured this terrifying scene on video while flying in Australia's Gold Coast Hinterland June 22. He uploaded his footage to YouTube the next day.
In it the video, a number of paragliders and hang gliders drift lazily about, enjoying a light breeze and a sunny day. A hang glider suddenly traces a straight line across the top of the screen while at the same time, a paraglider below appears to gain elevation.
Seconds later, they collide head-on. The paraglider's wing loses its shape, crumpling into a useless form around the hang glider's wing, and they both plummet. A reserve parachute can be seen deploying 40 seconds in, though it's not clear from the footage how effective it will be.
Miraculously, neither of the pilots was injured in the accident. According to The Sunday Mail, an Australian paper, the two were found hours later, suspended by their harnesses in separate trees, about 300 feet down "a very vertical cliff face."
We can only imagine the choice words exchanged by the pilots in the hours it took rescuers to reach them.
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