The perils of helmet mounted cameras...

Steve Purdie's picture

Still, at least it was all on video...

looks like a swivel would not have gone amiss either.

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A quick translation of the article

I've lived in Norway and my Norwegian's not too bad, so here's a quick translation. Apparently, this has happened to him twice before!!


– You don't have time to be scared there and then, says Kjartan Andvik about the dramatic paraglider flight which ended in Lake Vangsvatnet near Voss.

– The line hooked itself tight under the back of my helmet, and for a small moment my entire bodyweight was taken by my helmet, says Andvik calmly to NRK.

The drama which took place in the air over Voss on Saturday won't put the paragliding veteran off though. When he watches the clip he filmed with a mini-camera he had attached to his foot with NRK and some friends, there's much laughter and joking.

– I had two similar occurances last year whilst training. These sorts of things happen, he says about the drama which started several hundred meters over the ground.


It was whilst training for the competition at Ekstremsportveko that the 31-year-old's flight ended in chaos. One mistake whilst he pumped with his right arm whilst he practised an advanced stunt, meant that his wing didn't exactly "play for his team".

See our report on the dramatic event in this evenings transmission from the Ekstremsportveko at 22.15

The solution was to deploy one of the two reserve chutes, and land with a splash in the water.

A boat was ready nearby, which is standard procedure. Andvik lay in the water for about a minute before help came.

– I just lay there calmly. As long as you can breathe, it's best to just lie there completely calmly until the boat comes. If you begin to flap about too much with so many lines around you, it's like swimming in a fishing net, he says.


The experienced paraglider pilot says he wasn't scared - just focused - when things started to go pear shaped in the air over Voss.

– There's no time to be scared there and then, but afterwards of course you think about it a bit.

When a paraglider pilot is hanging under a reserve chute, he falls with a speed of three-four meters per second. This feels according to Andvik like a jump from around three meters up, so therefore the fall would actually have ended equally well if he hadn't landed in the water.


When asked whether this flight from Mount Hanguren near Voss is one of the worst he's had, Andvik replies with a large smile.

He has in fact experienced much worse, in Annecy in France in 2003.

His most dramatic flight eight years ago differed from his splash-landing in Lake Vangsvatnet at Voss in one crucial detail: he got caught up in the wing itself.

– So that time I fell even faster, he says with a smile.

Carole Sherrington's picture


From 3M, you'd be doing 7.7M/sec
4M/sec is equivalent to jumping from 0.82 meteres or just over 2/12 feet. That must have been a very big rescue chute!

I saw a video of a deployment like that where the pilot popped the chute out then just allowed it to fall free. It then fell at the same rate he was and never generated enough tension on the bridle for it to even leave the deployment bag. There was a cartoon like puff of dust as he impacted, but unlike in the Road-Runner movies, he didn't get up.
Simon Murphy's instructions are to gather your wits and throw the bag HARD UPWARDS into clear air and immediately start to pull it back in for another go. If the chute opens, you won't be able to pull it in and the act of jerking the bridle might just get it out of its bag. It looked to me like he'd released into the centre of his spiral, so the rescue canopy had almost no airspeed.
"We should all have our heads examined"
"That's rule number four!"

Hairy Dave's picture

Like it says in the book,

Like it says in the book, anything sticky out or hookey will, one day, catch a line; camera brackets, bootlace hooks, brummel hooks (clue in the name!), helmet visors, etc, etc.

Is that how long it takes a

Is that how long it takes a reserve to deploy? Was it badly packed?

It's usually much quicker,

It's usually much quicker, but I think it depends on what your wing is doing. When I chucked mine, in a spiral with riser twists, I estimate it at about two seconds from pins out to fully open. I make it about 11 seconds for the one in the video, but I don't know how you'd describe what state the wing was in. (Mine was packed by Steve Purdie!)