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article imageVideo: Paraglider collides with vultures mid-air over Himalayas

By Kev Hedges     Nov 2, 2011 in Lifestyle
A Russian adventurer on a maiden paragliding trip over the east Himalayan Mountains came very close to filming his own demise when he collided with two vultures in mid-air. The frightening encounter was filmed by the paraglider's helmet-cam.
Vladimir Tsarkov was one minute enjoying the stunning scenery when a split-second later he saw two vultures flying towards him. The imminent head-on collision saw one vulture become entangled in the strings of the parachute; it was not known what happened to the other bird. All Tsarkov knew was that his parachute was having trouble opening because the bird strike meant the strings were entangled in the vulture's wing.
The next few moment's of Tsarkov's life would have been terrifying as he plunged towards a Himalayan forest at times spiralling out of control. All the while the fearful encounter was being recorded on the Russian's helmet camera.
It was imperative the maiden-glider kept a cool head and activate the reserve chute; as man and bird spiralled to the undulating forest floor. At first his fall is broken by a tree and he then hits the floor. Fortunately his descent is slowed enough to prevent any fatal injuries, reports BBC Asia. Indeed it appears both Tsarkov and the bird of prey got away injury-free.
Fortunately for the 25-year-old adventurer he was able to quickly trigger his reserve parachute. Then as he calmy gets on his radio to tell his chums:
I hit an eagle on the way down, but I'm OK, thank God that chute worked.
The original video, also featured in the (English-language) Moscow Times, has been viewed more than a million times since it was uploaded on YouTube on Saturday. The video poster Paravoffka says he collided with an eagle but footage appears to show a vulture. The incident happened during mid-October.
More about Paragliding, Himalayas, bird strike, Vultures, Eagles
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