A Swiss paraglider pilot in Spain narrowly escaped death after he was caught in strong turbulence and forced to deploy his emergency parachute with just one second to spare.
In 2022, Kevin Phillip, 34, was performing an acro-paragliding trick in the Sierra Nevada mountains when he was hit by a gust of wind that sent him spiraling out of control.
Phillip’s helmet camera captured the terrifying moment as he was tossed around in the air, his parachute tangled, and his left hand trapped.
With just seconds to spare, Phillip managed to find and deploy his emergency parachute. He landed safely on the ground, unharmed.
“This was not the day to die!” Phillip wrote on Instagram. “I was lucky actually to find my second rescue, which I could deploy. Like with my bare hands just ripping it out of the package falling to the ground unharmed crying out in relief.”
Phillip said he always does safety checks beforehand, and everything looked ok before takeoff. He believes he was unlucky to be hit by strong turbulence at the wrong time.
“This occasion is quite unlucky and rare,” he said. “Just to keep in mind. Fly high, land safe.”
Phillip’s close call is a reminder of the dangers of paragliding. The sport is inherently risky, and even experienced pilots can be caught off guard by unexpected weather conditions.
If you’re considering paragliding, it’s important to be aware of the risks and to take all necessary safety precautions. Always fly with a qualified instructor and make sure you have the proper gear. And most importantly, never fly if the weather conditions are not ideal.