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Dangling experience American tourist's glider pilot temporarily loses licence

Hang gliders landing on a meadow

The Swiss resort of Interlaken is a popular hub for gliders. But not all flights end successfully.   

(Keystone/Dominic Steinmann)

The Swiss aviation authorities have suspended the licence of a hang glider pilot following a harrowing incident with an American tourist last year.

The Federal Office for Civil Aviation confirmed on Tuesday that the pilot would lose his licence for two months, but it stopped short of a permanent ban, saying the pilot’s aptitude was not in question.

The experienced pilot has already been fined of CHF800 ($800) and a criminal investigation against him is still pending.

The incident occurred last November, when a tourist from the United States on his first-ever hang glider trip as a passenger found himself not strapped in properly as the glider left the ground.

The pilot tried an emergency landing on a meadow outside the popular tourist resort of Interlaken in the Swiss Alps with the passenger hanging on to him.

The tourist suffered several injuries including a fracture to his right wrist shortly before the glider was able to land.

The video footage below of the frightening flight experience, published on YouTube, went viral.

paraglider

paraglider not strapped in

swissinfo.ch with SDA-ATS/ug

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