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Watch a hang glider endure terrifying accident (and somehow survive)

Technically Incorrect: Jon Gjerde, world championship hang glider, was performing some showy maneuvers. Then his hang glider snapped.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


And then it snapped.

Jon Gjerde/Vimeo screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It was just a performance.

But in performances, the unexpected can happen.

It happened to world championship hang glider Jon Gjerde.

Gjerde was offering a few tricks to the attendees of the Ekstremsportveko show on June 28 and all seemed to be going well.

Suddenly, as his new Vimeo video shows, his hang glider snapped in two.

As the crowd gasped, (what was left of) his hang glider appeared to spin toward earth.

It looked like the two wings of an dying insect plummeting to the ground.

Thankfully, his parachute deployed and he landed safely.

Gjerde took to Facebook to explain what happened.

"I have lots of speed and get an abrupt pullout by accident. The reason for this is to [sic] high speed, and bent elbows on the bottom of the dive," he said.

He explained that he still has "sore eyes and head-ache after serious negative G-force. after glider collaps [sic], my harness was somewhat broken and I was sentrifuged [sic] head out."

I translate this as his saying it was an extremely frightening experience that has had serious repercussions on his health.

He said that when the hang glider snapped, "my vision failed and I struggled hard against g-force to get my rescue out."

For the more technically minded, he added: "I flew a Moyes Litespeed rx4 with racing wires. With standard (thicker) wires the glider may have stayed together (although not built for 160+ km/h...and G-force probably above 7?)."

Other footage posted to YouTube shows the action both from Gjerde's perspective and from that of his audience. If anything, it increases one's fright as one watches.

But that's the point about extreme sports. Extreme things can happen.