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Odakyu-sen wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:30 pm
Do they have tandem ratings in Switzerland? Did the pilot have one? He certainly had no contingency plan (U-turn and uphill landing). Why in the world did he keep on heading out to deeper territory?
(Yes, I know that hindsight is a wonderful thing.)
The SHV-FSVL says they are dealing with the matter:
https://www.shv-fsvl.ch/en/federation/a ... -vom-2611/
On 26.11. Youtube video released is currently causing quite a stir. It can be seen that a Delta tandem pilot starts without its passenger being hung up. We would like to specify:

- Delta flying is - if done correctly - no dangerous sport.

- This video indicates a gross error. We go into the matter.

- The start check is essential for every flight.
Perhaps the pilot found his wife featured in Gursky's gallery...

NMERider wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:45 pm
If I did for a living what Chris Gursky does for a living I'd have held my grip too.
https://chrisgurskyphotography.zenfolio.com/p721644240 :mosh: :mosh: :mosh:
The video was featured in a prominant newspaper site here in New Zealand yesterday. Already, one of our local hang glider instructors was contacted by the press for an interview, but wisely turned them down.

The reporters here are "journalists" in name only. If it bleeds, it leads.
Watching that video, all I could say, was wow....just wow! Obviously, no preflight hang check was performed. Whenever you do something strictly for the money, you tend to become complacent with doing it, over time and start to skip critical steps, but with anything that takes one up into the air, we should always, always, double check. Even as a passenger, I'm always checking my carabiner and hang straps. Geat job hanging on like you did, even though, I would've let go over that first closest tree top.
I can only hope that the reason behind the pilot not turning around for an uphill landing (wouldn't have turned out well anyway), or maneuvering for the areas just below launch is that he understood that with any slight turn, the G forces on the passenger's body would have likely increased to a point, even slightly more than 1-G, that the passenger would likely not have had enough stamina and strength in his grip. As it was, as long as the glider was descending on a relatively unwavering course, Gursky could maintain his grip with slightly less than his full body weight. A slight turbulence-induced bump could have momentarily increased his weight to >2G. Even a slight turn could have increased his load to more than 1G.
Someone was looking out for Gursky and helped the pilot to finally make some good decisions and provide Gursky his stamina.
Thank God!
I was wondering why the pilot put his left hand next to Gursky's left hand on the control bar..... I was screaming "cover his hand and squeeze you dolt!"
It would have helped Gursky's left hand grip if the pilot would have controlled the bar while covering Gursky's hand, much as you help your trigger-finger-hand to better grip a semi-auto pistol (not a tea-cup grip).

I suppose most of us are products of our past experiences and research. Some, not so much.
Last edited by DMarley on Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Everyone of us is capable of making this mistake. Look out for each other.

On a side note, Hang Gliding has not gotten this much press in a long time! Maybe this is the key to hang glidings come back! We all need to go fast & take chances & FOR FUCKS SAKE GET IT ON VIDEO!!!!
Hey Guys, this might not be obvious but flying that glider in the state it was in is not trivial. Consider that the passenger, who may have been heavier than the pilot, has his weight on the control bar pulling the nose down into a moderate dive. More significantly watch the glider and the instructor's responses as the passenger shifts his weight left and right depending on where he was holding. That left shift before the slope steepened is what canceled the option of landing early. Glad the instructor didn't toss the chute though. He was probably doing 40mph and the snap from the chute would likely have sent the passenger flying. Pretty sure this stuff was never covered in the tandem clinics I have taken, but because it's not supposed to get to this point. Sometimes all of the safety provisions put in place for tandem operations at my local site are inconvenient but this sure reinforces the necessity of them.
As someone else pointed out, a simple (and should be routine) pre-launch procedure wasn't done - a hang check. When you're risking your own life, then you can be as careless as you want. But, when you're responsible for someone else's life, there are no acceptable shortcuts.
bigbird wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:24 pm
When you're risking your own life, then you can be as careless as you want.
Bullshit. You should never be careless in this sport. The routine should be the same for single-pilot as for tandem. Hooked-in, balance, all that. If you're careless 'cause you're flying alone, without a passenger, you can die, and leave a bad reputation behind. Careless pilots should just leave the sport. Not the first time I see this type of comment, "if you're by yourself, do as you wish" - do it right, always.

Keep on flying guys, cheers!
FYI - Here's the original story which has since been taken down or concealed.
Chris Gursky
October 23 ·
So...Here is the story behind the photo. Vacation in Switzerland started with Hang Gliding. Something we both wanted to do...this was a tandem flight each with their own pilot. Cut to the mountain... the pilots had us step into our harnesses followed by sticking our arms and head through and getting them adjusted. Then we practiced our take off run, which was 6 to 8 steps. Pretty much run till your feet leave the ground.
Gail and her pilot took off first....looked cool as hell. Then my pilot and I lined up for take-off. We waited a bit for the updraft to pick up and then we ran till we left the side of the 4000 ft mountain edge. I was expecting to level out above the pilot as we went, but quickly discovered that my harness was not attached to the hang glider or anything else....
My body weight shifted straight down and I found myself hanging on for my life. I remember looking down and thinking, this is it. I was losing grip with my right hand, that was holding onto a strap on the pilots right shoulder. He was trying to make a bee line to the landing field as he knew what the situation could bring. My left hand was on the cross bar that was ultimately the landing gear, with a wheel on each side. As we were going down for a hot landing I was slowly losing my grip with my right hand as I was swinging in the wind with the glider. The pilot grabbed my hand, but like in the movies it was a slow motion slipping of the grip until my right hand slipped off and I grabbed another strap on his left side for a bit but this slipped off also. I ended up holding on bar with the left hand and the lower part if his leg with the right when we here nearing the ground. 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. I would guesstimate the total flight time was about 5 minutes. When I sat up I knew something was wrong an saw that my wrist was broken. The pilot rushed over, helped me up and walked me off of the gun range (true). Then I had to climb under two electric fences to get to a road, where they had someone picking us up to go to the ER.
11:30 pm surgery ended at 3:30 am. Left the hospital by 2:00 that afternoon. No cast ,but a wrap and a brace for 6 weeks.
Glad I am still here to tell the story.
Gail's flight was awesome and she will share the pics when she is ready.
Still can't cross Hang Gliding off the bucket list till I finish a successful flight! ......maybe Norway...?
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