Sometimes you see a video that’s so impressive, it makes you want to stand on top of a tall building and shout at the top of your lungs:
“EVERYBODY! STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING, AND CHECK OUT THIS THING I’VE JUST SEEN ON THE INTERNET. IT’S THE BEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN…ON THE INTERNET.”
This video, featuring 43-year-old speed flyer Arnaud Longobardi, is one of those videos. We’ve watched this multiple times now, and we still can’t believe the audacity of it.
You really do need to see this to believe it, but if you genuinely haven’t got time to fanny about watching videos we’ll summarise it by saying that its central premise focuses on Longobardi deliberately flying into the open door of a moving cable car…without killing himself or anyone in the vicinity. It’s absolutely ridiculous.
This isn’t one of those things you can keep trying until you get it right. If any of this had gone wrong, Longobardi would surely have fallen to his death and made the video a lot less fun to watch as a result.
The whole thing is a perfect coming-together of optimum weather conditions, a cable car company that’s clearly pretty relaxed on health and safety, some state-of-the-art flying equipment, an excellent support team, pinpoint accuracy, a dollop of luck, and some testicular fortitude on the part of Longobardi.
This stunt was the definition of brave.
Nobody is more qualified to speak on this stunt, than the man who actually did it. With that in mind, let’s hear from Longobardi himself:
“At 200 metres from the cable car I was travelling at 80 kph. From that point, I had to make a very controlled deceleration to 35 kph – the precise speed where the glider would stall and collapse – at one metre from the cable car and let my momentum carry me in. If I stalled before reaching the door – disaster.”
Longobardi had a reserve parachute for the stunt but due to the fact that the cable car was only 150 metres above the ground, he would have had very little time to release this if anything had gone wrong. The room for error was so narrow, in fact, you could have used it to pick broccoli out of your teeth (like a toothpick).
If you’ve got this far through the post and still haven’t watched the video, what the hell are you waiting for? Get on it. Go on. Watch the video. Then run to the top of a tall building, and tell everyone else to watch it as well.