Paraglider caught in storm blown to 30000 feet

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Paraglider caught in storm blown to 30000 feet

Survived - she flew underneath a storm cloud and got sucked up to 30,000 feet. She was unconscious for about half an hour. She regained consciousness at 20,000 feet and then flew down and landed safely.

"I wanted to fly around the clouds but I got sucked 20 metres per second up into it and started to spiral," she said.

"After 40 minutes or an hour, I woke up and I was 6900 metres.

"I was still flying but I realised I didn't have the brakes in my hand.

"I saw my hands and the gloves were frozen, and I didn't have the brakes, and the glider was still flying on its own.

"I was thinking I can't do anything so I only have to wait and hope that the clouds were bringing me out somewhere.

"And then I woke up and was thinking I was maybe unconscious for one minute.

"I didn't know I was unconscious for so long."

Wisnierka's paraglider was fitted with a tracking system that recorded her flight.

Godfrey Wenness, the president of the Manilla Sky Sailors club and organiser of the upcoming Paragliding World Championship, said Wisnierska's tale of survival was mind-blowing.

"It's like winning Lotto 10 times in a row," he said, noting that the previous altitude survival record for a paraglider was 24,000 feet.

"[Wisnierska] flew underneath a storm cloud and got sucked up to 30,000 feet. She was unconscious for about half an hour. She regained consciousness at 20,000 feet and then flew down and landed safely.

"She was covered in ice. She suffered from severe frostbite. The temperature at that altitude was about minus 50 degrees. It's higher than Mount Everest."

Mr Wenness said her injuries were severe.

"She's got bruises all over her body from the hail stones and she's recovering from frostbite to her extremities. She's got bandages over her head because her ears nearly got frozen off."

"She just remembers going up, lightning around her in the cloud and she doesn't remember anything until coming to again."

He said the size of the hail stones was up to 15 centimetres in diameter.

"Apples, oranges, up to rockmelon size. And her glider kept flying perfectly which is the amazing thing in this whole thing.

"Basically she can't believe that she's alive.'

Sergeant Scott Tanner of Manilla police said Wisnierska landed between Barraba and Niagra, 60 kilometres away from her launch site.

"She was treated in hospital and discharged with frostbite injuries to her face," he said.

More here
 http://www.smh.com.au/news/...

Ewa Wisnierska ... as she appears on the SkyFly website.

paraglider-survived-storm.jpg - 23.32kb
By netchicken: posted on 16-2-2007








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