Watch the Exact, Terrifying Moment a Hang Glider Loses Control

Last Tuesday, Voss, Norway-native Jon Gjerde decided to strap himself to a gigantic kite and go zipping through the air like some sort of very ugly bird. The 51-year-old is no stranger to hang gliding. He is, in fact, a world champion in the sport. But after this particular outing he’s lucky to be alive.


While participating in Norway’s Extreme Sports Week, Gjerde lost control of his glider. Wind and tremendous g-forces whipped him around high above a lake. His accident was caught by a GoPro attached to the glider, as well as a cameraman on the ground (a side-by-side composite can be seen here).

Gjerge came out relatively unscathed, thanks to his parachute, which he was able to deploy without tangling inside the wrecked glider. He did, however, change his cover image on Facebook to his bruised and bloodshot face, and posted the following message about the accident:

I am OK but still suffer from sore eyes and head-ache after serious negative G-force. after glider collaps, my harness was somewhat broken and I was sentrifuged head out. My vision failed and I struggled hard against g-force to get my rescue out.[...] I have lots of speed and get an abrupt pullout by accident. The reason for this is to high speed, and bent elbows on the bottom of the dive.

My own fear of heights continues to be entirely founded and is not soon to be reassessed.


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Senior reporter. Tech + labor /// Keybase: Securedrop: http://gmg7jl25ony5g7ws.onion/


I was a very active private pilot in the ‘70s and ‘80s (ASMEL), flying single and multi-engine Cessnas and Pipers. Ultralight aircraft came along and I went to see one. I was appalled; it was basically a lawn chair with an engine bolted on the back, and flimsy wings held on with what looked like string. As soon as I mentioned that I was already a pilot the salesman started pressuring me to fly it; take it around the pattern, he said. I started backing away looking for a weapon; that thing made me nervous just standing next to it.