Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
TORONTO — Four minutes isn’t a long stretch of time by any means, but for Chris Gursky it felt like a lifetime.
That’s because for nearly four minutes, the American tourist was left suspended from a hang glider after his pilot forgot to attach his harness.
Talk about a major oversight!
Gurksy and his wife, Gail, were recently on vacation in Switzerland where they decided to sign up for hang gliding for the first time. All was going well until lift-off when Gursky suddenly realized he wasn’t strapped to the glider.
“Gail and her pilot took off first…looked cool as hell,” he wrote on social media. “Then my pilot and I lined up for takeoff. 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…”.
The entire terrifying ordeal was caught on video, which shows Gursky trying desperately to hang onto the pilot with one hand and the other holding onto the glider as they soared high above treetops.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 27, 2018
“My body weight shifted straight down and I found myself hanging on for my life. I remember looking down and thinking, ‘this is it’,” he added.
The pilot can be seen struggling to steer the glider while at the same time holding onto Gursky, who at times appeared to be losing his grip.
The pilot eventually managed to lower the glider, at which point Gursky let go of the glider and the pilot’s pant leg before hitting the ground. It wasn’t a smooth landing by any means, however, as Gurksy ended up fracturing his wrist, which required surgery.
Despite his four minutes of terror, Gursky said he’d give it another go. He also harbours no ill-will towards the pilot, saying he “did all he could to get me down to the ground,” he told ABC’s Good Morning America.