A man who went hang gliding for the first time had to cling onto a metal bar for more than two minutes when his pilot forgot to hook him onto the glider, heart-stopping footage has shown.

The terrifying clip from Chris Gursky's first day on holiday in Switzerland has been shared on YouTube - after the fun activity turned into a "near-death experience," Daily Mail reports.

The auto-parts manager and photographer had to "hang on for his life" during the ride he videoed, and later named Swiss Mishap.

After taking off from a 1219m mountain edge, Gursky had to hang on for two minutes and 14 seconds, as the pilot desperately tried to steer with one hand.

Advertisement
First-time hang glider Chris Gurksy and the pilot quickly realise there's been a critical error as they take off from a Swiss mountainside. Photo / YouTube
First-time hang glider Chris Gurksy and the pilot quickly realise there's been a critical error as they take off from a Swiss mountainside. Photo / YouTube

Seconds after Gursky and the pilot took off they realised that he was not attached.

Gursky tightly gripped a metal bar with his left hand and held onto the instructors back with his right as they glide over trees and fields.

The pilot tried his best to bring them down but had trouble controlling the glider and they flew over more trees and went higher.

As they began their descent Gursky clung to the pilot's leg but started to lose his grip on the metal bar.

The hang gliding craft goes higher into the air and Chris Gursky clings on to the metal bar as the pilot tries to bring it down safely. Photo / YouTube
The hang gliding craft goes higher into the air and Chris Gursky clings on to the metal bar as the pilot tries to bring it down safely. Photo / YouTube

Eventually he was close enough to the ground to let go.

He tore his left bicep tendon and had to have surgery on his right wrist after it suffered a distal radius fracture from the impact of dropping to the floor.

Gursky said: "My body weight shifted straight down and I found myself hanging on for my life.

"I remember looking down and thinking, this is it. I was losing grip with my right hand, that was holding onto a strap on the pilot's right shoulder. He was trying to make a bee line to the landing field as he knew what the situation could bring.

"My left hand was on the cross bar that was ultimately the landing gear, with a wheel on each side. As we were going down for a hot landing I was slowly losing my grip with my right hand as I was swinging in the wind with the glider.

"The pilot grabbed my hand, but like in the movies it was a slow motion slipping of the grip until my right hand slipped off and I grabbed another strap on his left side for a bit but this slipped off also.

As his arms tire, Chris Gursky grabs on to the pilot's leg, who holds on to his harness to try to stop him falling. Photo / YouTube
As his arms tire, Chris Gursky grabs on to the pilot's leg, who holds on to his harness to try to stop him falling. Photo / YouTube

"I ended up holding on bar with the left hand and the lower part of his leg with the right when we were nearing the ground. I looked down to see my feet hit first, which ripped me off at about 45 mph as it was a hot landing and I was under the landing gear.

"When I sat up I knew something was wrong and saw that my wrist was broken.

"For two min. 14 seconds I had to hang on for my life! The landing was a rough one, but I lived to tell the story.

"Upon impact my right wrist suffered a distal radius fracture, which required surgery.

"A titanium plate and seven screws were installed and I was released the following afternoon. I also tore my left bicep tendon from holding on for so long. It beats the alternative."

Despite his terrifying ordeal, Gursky praised the pilot and even said he'd try hang gliding again.

He said: "While the pilot made a critical error in our pre-flight set up by not attaching me to the glider, he did all he could to get me down to the ground as quickly as possible while grabbing onto my harness and flying with one hand.

"I will go hang gliding again as I did not enjoy my first flight."