So You're Paragliding One Day, You Look Up, and See This



The website of the United States Powered Paragliding Association describes what could have happened if the carabiner had slipped just a little more:

This pilot was quite close to a catastrophic situation on two fronts. One, a significant bump that unloaded that riser could have caused the riser to come completely out, leaving the pilot spiraling uncontrollably down on the remaining side. Two, the carabiner has dramatically less strength and a strong updraft could break it.


Here's my question: was this picture taken during or after the flight? If during, then, sir, the people of the Internet thank you for thinking of us first.

Link (scroll down) -via reddit | Photo: Stefan Obenauer

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My first reaction upon seeing the picture was "Oh crap", Then I read "Here’s my question: was this picture taken during or after the flight? If during, then, sir, the people of the Internet thank you for thinking of us first". I nearly wet myself. Thanks.
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I'd guess it's a still shot pulled from a GoPro camera he was wearing during the flight. It would be pretty awesome if he whipped out the iPhone to take it though. If that's the case, thank you, sir, for not using some piece of dogshit like Hipstamatic to make it look terrible.
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According to the (reddited) USPPA web-site linked, the advisory with this picture was made in 2006. I don't know if GoPro cameras suitable for this existed at the time.
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I'd say it was staged. I'm an ex hang glider pilot and have no experience of paragliding, but I'd wager that the clip-in point depicted here is sufficiently far above your head so as to make the likelihood of getting a crystal clear photo like this on any kind of hand-held camera - while in flight and presumably crapping yourself - exceedingly unlikely.
My best guess: this was a staged photo, taken on the hilltop on solid ground, to illustrate common clip-in hazards, perhaps as part of an article/guide.
This picture was submitted to the USPPA site by one Robin Rumbolt, based on a hear-say story told him by one of his students, with an image found somewhere on the internets - so not a highly reliable source.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ppgbiglist/message/31616
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As a former climber -- granted, not a paraglider, but I have used a lot of 'biners in my day -- I'd say this particular one is a cheap-o!

Considering,m that it has a locking gate, I'm surprised that it does not have a notch in the gate that under load (like this) would prevent the gate from opening even if the gate lock had come unscrewed.

Given how important this is I would have either replaced the 'binder, or taped the gate.
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