Saturday, May 5, 2012

Gliding, good and bad

Peggy McAlpine, 104
Kyrenia Mountains, Cyprus, April 14, 2012
To reclaim her title as the oldest person to paraglide, McAlpine ascended for the 2nd time with Highline Air Tours (1st image).The record the Scotswoman set 5 years ago had been broken by American centenarian Mary Allen Hardison, shortly after McAlpine tried bungee jumping. For this flight, she and pilot Ozgur Gokasan alit from a 2,400' peak and landed to a crowd of family, friends, and the 3 witnesses required by the Guinness World Records. Said McAlpine after it was over, "I enjoyed every minute of it. It was better than the last time. I would certainly like to do it again - especially if anyone takes my record."

Lenami Godinez-Avila, 27
Chilliwack, B.C., Canada, April 28, 2012
To celebrate her anniversary with her boyfriend, Godinez-Avila decided to hang glide with Vancouver Hang Gliding (2nd image, from their photo gallery). She and 50-year-old pilot William Orders launched from Mount Woodside with Godinez-Avila's boyfriend recording video from the ground. Seconds later, the woman began slipping out of the harness and tried to cling to the pilot. Orders tried desperately to hang on to her, but she slipped down his legs - taking one of his shoes with her - and fell 300m to her death. The RCMP recovered Godinez-Avila's body 8 hours later, and siezed both the hang glider and the video taken from the ground as evidence in the investigation. Orders was arrested and charged with obstructing justice and withholding key evidence after swallowing the memory card from the glider-mounted video camera. He was released on bail after the police were able to recover it. They are examining it and will announce the charge on Monday.
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