Paragliding Into Power Lines Thankfully Had A Happy Ending

A California woman and her friend are lucky to escape without personal injury after a paraglider they were operating in rural Nevada County became enmeshed in high-voltage power lines. In fact, authorities argue that the reason they weren’t seriously hurt was the fact that no metal on the aircraft touched the 7,200-volt transmission cables. The Associated Press continues the story:

“Liam Elerby says he was having a good day paragliding with his friend Kara Asilions until she had trouble getting her aircraft to climb to higher elevations. After she hit the lines, she was stuck for over two hours until electricity crews could cut the power to the lines and a fire rescue team could help her escape. When asked if she could do it again, she said,”No I’m not doing that again.”

Paragliders are generally very simply-built machines, usually a seat, engine and lightweight frame attached to a parachute-like fabric that provides lift. Those considering taking wing in these smaller craft should be aware of the possibility of a dangerous product failure, such as a poor weld or non-functioning engine making it difficult to gain altitude. Either of those issues could lead to further investigation, but Ms. Asilions and Mr. Elerby seem to be taking the safer route and avoiding the lightweight paragliders that have little in the way of crash protection in the future.

[Image: Joe Sullivan via Flickr]