Friday, February 16, 2007

Para-glider sucked up to 30,000'

Video interview at that link too. There's a lot of questions this leaves me wanting to ask this woman?

The first being - are you a retard?
The second being - are you a retard?

a) Why are you flying the thing when there's a cell in the immediate vicinity?
b) Why didn't you just fly it out of the column?
c) Why didn't you just stall the chute?

OK, c) I'm a little unsure about. I know a normal 9 or 7 cell parachute when stalled will deflate, vastly increasing decent rate, and reinflate quickly when you let up on the brakes and allow it to start flying again. If these para-things are prone to collapsing into a permanent streamer if stalled, that would lead me to the next question...

Do these people use a pilot's bailout reserve? I would. And I'd have exited that hunk of junk in a heartbeat rather than get swept away. I've been as high as 16,000' without O2 and the air is getting noticeably thinner. 5 minutes at 16K' and your brain function starts to get just a notch slower, you can feel it happening. Get back down to 10K and you clear up back to normal quick - in a matter of seconds.
German paraglider survives a storm that swept her 30,000 feet into the air.

Paraglider Ewa Wisnierska was sucked thousands of feet into the air by a thunderstorm whilst flying.

She spent 40 minutes unconscious while being carried to a height of approximately 30,000 feet, where she was pounded by hail, narrowly avoided lightning and was covered in ice. [...]


RobC said...

I read an iterview with her and she said the rate of climp surprised her... she passed out before she could do a cutaway.
She is damn lucky but being World Champ counted in her favour I would think... a chinese guy got killed in the same storm.

Purple Avenger said...

I don't believe she passed out before she could cut it away. You can hold your breath for a minute or more and still stay conscious.

She lost altitude awareness.

blogengeezer said...

Albuquerque New Mexico has the western wall of the 10,000 foot plus, Sandia Mountain Crest, as its skyline. World class 'Hangers' love to run off the crest into the updrafts. Several years ago a couple of 'Hangers' got on the 'Fast elevator up'. One froze to death and landed about 20 miles away, rig intact.

Purple Avenger said...

I just don't get it. I never had any problem deciding "this isn't working" and it's time to go.

Maybe that isn't drummed into para-sailers as much as it is into skydivers?