View Full Version : Sky Diving

22nd Oct 2008, 21:15
One was having a butchers at "Britain from above" on the Beeb this evening and there was a section where paragliders and parasails were featured and the conversation about how they used the thermals led me to proclaim that I remembered a french parachutist who was almost at the end of a successful jump when he was whipped up in a freak thermal updraft that kept going and he had to cut himself loose at 8000m and returned to earth with frostbite and shock/exposure. I remember watching it on French TV news somewhere in the early to mid 90's.

This provoked guffaws of laughter from the missus who said "prove it!" Google was unhelpful. So I upped the ante and proclaimed that there had been an American parachutist that had jumped out of a plane, got caught in a very strong updraft and stayed up in the air for an incredibly long time, perhaps an hour sometime in the last 20 years ? Again no help on Googoo apart from the 'longest' freefall, the amazing jumps from the edge of space by Russians and Amerikanskis.

Can anyone shed some light on these free falling conundrums please. One's all-knowing manliness is at stake ;)



22nd Oct 2008, 21:24
I have heard the same story (myth?) but never seen any proof.

I do know of a written account of a Scottish hang-glider pilot who went out for a summer fly around just wearing shorts and a t-shirt. He got caught in strong wave lift, couldn't fly out of it and ended up at 25000ft. He got spat out of it at this point (or flew off the end of the wave bar) and landed, frostbitten and bl00dy lucky to be alive. :eek:

22nd Oct 2008, 21:32
Did someone call?

Thermals had to be discovered somehow! The famous one amongst us lot is poor old Davor Jardas. I met him a few times, always seemed slightly big balled to me. Anyway, here's his story:

Powered Paragliding Ontario - PG pilot sucked in a thunderstorm. (http://www.poweredparaglidingontario.com/weather/sucked_in.htm)

Just for the record, the term Parasail is a bit like looking at an Aston Martin vanquish & saying; ooh nice horseless carriage:=

the incivil beast
22nd Oct 2008, 21:36
There is at least one paragliding story thoroughly documented :
Google Ewa Wisnierska :
Sidney Morning Herald (http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/dead-luck-ewas-flight-of-fury/2007/02/16/1171405421626.html)
Wikipedia : cloud suck (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_suck)

22nd Oct 2008, 21:44
It is disconcerting to be flying arounjd, constantly searching for lift only to find there's lift...everywhere. The whole sky is going up & no matter what you do, you're going up with it.

Only had it a handful of times, once in lovely Alpine restitution, which is wafty & 7 mellow, once in wave which is wonderful & ;like being on what I can only describe as an elevator made of air & once in France on a suddenly over developed day which was scary, bum clenching & lucky to end well for me - another of our group ended up in a pine tree & had to be cut down by the Pompiers.

For a quick look see at the unfortunate combination of powerful lift & unprepared pilots, looky here:

YouTube - joe parr spiral tree landing mexico 2005 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPCnQ12DagA)

Although of course for every one of those, there is a few thousand of these:

YouTube - Paragliding over Chamonix July 2006 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEwkZb5y07Q)

22nd Oct 2008, 22:08
Wikipedia to the rescue.
Here is the story of Colonel William Rankin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Rankin).


22nd Oct 2008, 22:50
Thanks Xacto, that's one down and one to go! I kind of remembered that it was a military man who had parachuted, but he had opened his parachute which makes more sense than free falling for ages due to updraft.

Anyone remember the French incident ? I seem to remember it being in or around the Haute-Savoie region and it was at the weekend, a sunday if I recall.

Apologies Parapunter for my crude reference to your passion's steed. The froggies call them parapont, what do we call them ?



22nd Oct 2008, 23:44
It was an Italian Hang Glider pilot, and it happened about 1992:)

23rd Oct 2008, 07:48
So far my balcony and bar fridge have shown no sign of levitating in gusts.

23rd Oct 2008, 17:59
Weird that just watched 'lucky to be alive' on Sky and the story was about a guy, I think he was anaesthetist, who was caught up in a big cumulonimbus and rode the express elevator to the top before being spat out. He survived and reckons his medical knowledge helped him endure the bitter cold and lack of oxygen:)

23rd Oct 2008, 19:03
Most skydivers are most unhappy when you drop them into CBs even baby ones. (Baby CBs that is, not baby skydivers).

the incivil beast
23rd Oct 2008, 19:53
The froggies call them parapontOne thunk 'tis spelt parapente, rather.