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Watch hang glider hold on for dear life

After realizing he was not strapped in while hang gliding in Switzerland, American Chris Gursky held on for nearly four minutes while the pilot navigated to a safe landing.

Posted: Nov 28, 2018 10:24 AM
Updated: Nov 28, 2018 10:36 AM

Other people's vacation videos can be painfully dull. Chris Gursky's is painfully terrifying -- best watched while peeking through your fingers.

Gursky, an American, was on his first day of a vacation in Switzerland when he decided to take a tandem hang gliding ride over the Alpine scenery.

Unfortunately, he says, the hang gliding instructor failed to attach his safety harness.

As soon as the hang glider left the ground, Gursky was left clinging on with his bare hands, desperately trying not to fall as the ground dropped away beneath them.

What follows is some of the scariest moments ever caught on camera as Gursky hangs on for dear life while his instructor battles air currents pushing them upwards and tries to wrestle the glider to the ground.

"I looked down once and I thought to myself, so this is it I'm going to fall to my death," Gursky told ABC's Good Morning America. "I'm a goner."

Hard landing

Nearly four minutes later, the hang glider came near enough to the ground for Gursky to let go, allowing the instructor to touch down safely nearby.

It wasn't a soft landing.

"By the time we hit the ground, or I hit the ground, I would say we were going about 25 miles an hour," Gursky added.

Gursky says he fractured his right wrist and tore a tendon, requiring surgery and metal pins to put it back together.

He says his pilot "did all he could to get me down to the ground."

Despite everything, he wants to hang glide again. The video of his flight, a viral sensation via YouTube, is enough to put everyone else off for good.

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