Paragliding pair jumpstart stunt from balloon

A couple of paragliding enthusiasts have launched themselves from a hot air balloon at 14,700 feet.

Horacio Llorens, from Spain, and Argentinian Hernán Pitocco performed the stunt, and for the first part of it the pair was strapped to a single paraglider.

The paraglider was hung upside down from the hot air balloon before the two men tipped forwards out of the basket. This set them falling past the glider, which then filled with air.

At around 12,800 feet, the pair performed thirteen somersaults, building up enough speed and momentum to be able to slingshot themselves from the paraglider. This action left them free falling until they opened their parachutes and floated to earth. They landed at La Molina, which is a Pyrenees ski resort in the North East of Spain.

Mr Pitocco told the press:

“To do it safely, we both needed to release from the glider together, at a very precise moment, to ensure we wouldn’t fall into the glider. We are not so good at this type of thing as we are at paragliding so it was necessary to feel comfortable in the air to do the slingshot properly.”

To prepare, the pair spent seven hours polishing their skydiving skills in a wind tunnel. They are both experienced aerobatic paragliders who have completed several stunts together.

Mr Llorens also holds the infinity tumbling world record, after performing 568 consecutive loops while paragliding.

Controlled leaping from hot air balloons is becoming more common. In some parts of the world, B.A.S.E. jumpers and skydivers use them as launch pads, while bungee jumping is also possible.

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