Paraglider walks away unscathed after surprise dust devil chews him up and spits him out
Video has emerged of the harrowing moment an experienced paraglider was torn through the air by a surprise dust devil in northern New South Wales.
- Bystanders watched on helplessly as the paraglider was taken by the vortex
- The man was lifted up and swirled around, before being ejected out to the side unscathed
- The pilot ultimately regained control of the glider and continued on his cross-country flight
The man, who was visiting from overseas, was one of 40 paragliding pilots setting up to take off for a cross-country flight from a popular launch spot on Mount Borah in Manilla.
A dust devil — a small whirlwind or air vortex over land — rapidly formed and raced across the launch area, catching the paraglider and flinging him into the air.
In the video, filmed by the man’s wife, the paraglider is lifted up and swirled around for a few seconds before being ejected out to the side.
Other pilots watch on helplessly before scrambling to secure some of the launch mats.
In the video, the man’s wife can be heard screaming in terror as her husband is flung about.
“Is he okay?” she can be heard asking the other pilots.
“He’s okay,” they confirm.
“I never want to fly again,” the distressed woman can be heard saying.
The pilot ultimately regained control of the glider and continued on a “relatively uneventful” 180km cross-country flight, Manilla Paragliding confirmed.