A German paraglider, named Ewa Wisnierska, holds a rather incredible paragliding record, that of having flown at an altitude of 9946 meters !
Of course, flying at this altitude was not the paraglider's intention, as she was caught in a storm on February 14, 2007 while flying in Manila, Australia, where the Paragliding World Championships were being held.
As she set off to scout the course with a large group of paragliders, a black cloud (cumulonimbus) quickly formed and the flying conditions became dangerous. The paragliders then decided to return to land except for Ewa Wisnierska and another pilot. They tried to go around the cloud; however, what was bound to happen happened and they were sucked up by a column of rising air of rare violence. The paraglider managed to get out of it, but Ewa had less chance as she suffered a brutal ascent to almost 10,000 metres, the cruising altitude of airliners; an area without oxygen and where the temperature is close to -50°C!
The sportswoman said she lost consciousness for about 40 minutes and then regained consciousness and landed as best she could.
With a lot of luck, the sportswoman had no major injuries; only a few frostbite injuries (her body was covered with ice when she landed).
After her accident, she testified that she "could hear lightning in front of and behind me. It was dark, everything was frozen and I knew I couldn't do anything, just hope. ... I don't know who to thank. I just said thank you to the angels. ». So the paraglider came out of it with a lot of luck!
Discover also our article on the men's and women's world paragliding records beaten in Brazil in October 2019 or Frédéric Delbos' current French record.