paragliding, diving, extreme

5 brutal human crash landings you can’t unsee

Words: Josh Rakic
Photo: Lucas Pilz

Broken bones and near-death heights aside, these five crashes can count for a good story. 

The world of adventure knows plenty of highs, but with risk comes its shares of lows, too - especially when you’re plummeting towards the earth from great heights. The following five novice aerial thrill-seekers can count themselves among a lucky few, somehow surviving some of the most brutal rag-dollings caught on camera, courtesy of a combination of mother nature, naivety and plain bad luck.

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Every rock - Norway

Rookie Norwegian paraglider Mihhail Lebedko was literally caught - and smashed - between a rock and a hard place for what seemed like hours when this landing went awry last year. Somehow he escaped serious injury and with no broken bones, suffering only cuts and bruises. He described his landing attempt as “stupid”.

Cushioned fall - Russia 

In where else but Russia, a young basejumper was filmed by his friend launching from a 400 feet power pylon. Only his parachute failed to open and he plummeted into a deep snow base covered in fresh powder, which miraculously saved his life. He didn’t walk away, suffering fractures to his back, pelvis and legs, but made a full recovery inside of three months.

Damn, David - USA

It’s the action sports equivalent of Damn, Daniel, a friend coining a fellow skydiver’s skewed landing attempt - when he wipes out into a fence - with the unforgettable phrase: “What the f**k are you doing, David?”

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Water landing - UK

Of every person on this list this novice skydiver is the luckiest, at least managing to hit the right landing spot before a rapid cartwheel touchdown. He walked away unscathed, and with a solid story to boot.

Flapping in the wind - Poland

After suffering a cracked vertebrae, broken wrist and bruised tailbone, the beginner paraglider posted this video himself to warn others of the dangers of bad decision-making when landing. By his own admission, he came in too slow after experiencing a strong updraft over trees, hitting the brakes and falling victim to partial stall.

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