Naked pilot prepares for midair parachute — then crashes, says he was ‘lucky’

Maverick Viñales, a former Colombian congressman and presidential candidate, flew right back up into the air after he narrowly escaped catastrophe when he inexplicably bailed out. As The Guardian noted, Viñales’s single-engine Cessna —…

Naked pilot prepares for midair parachute — then crashes, says he was ‘lucky’

Maverick Viñales, a former Colombian congressman and presidential candidate, flew right back up into the air after he narrowly escaped catastrophe when he inexplicably bailed out. As The Guardian noted, Viñales’s single-engine Cessna — reportedly worth $1 million — was designed to land in a dam between two mountains, but he accidently had to bail out, falling about 130 feet down the canyon in a collapsed part of the bank. He managed to free himself and quickly flew back to base. According to the London Daily Mail, the daredevil pilot (who took up skydiving a decade ago) launched the plane directly into the hill, rather than following a second runway by wind:

“The parachuting manoeuvre involves piling down from the plane and then launching into the air before launching a parachute-filled inflatable tube into the sky. Despite having taken off at 200mph, he hit the ground with no problems as he rode a wave of wind down the hill to safety.”

Quoted in the Guardian article, Viñales’s boss and fellow pilot, Bernardo Sanabria, praised his swift recovery:

“He’s lucky, it’s simple to understand. … It’s an emergency operation and it took him a fraction of the time to save himself and the aircraft. He’s a professional.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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