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Chocks away! Siberia’s unusual airborne world record attempt

By The Siberian Times Reporter
10 December 2014

Daredevil pilot and FOUR passengers with skis and snowboards on single paraglider wait to hear if they have made history.

'The sun was like Thailand, the snow like in Austria, and the party like in Ibiza!' Picture: Anna Liesowska

A Siberian daredevil is waiting to hear if he has claimed a new world record for carrying four people at the same time on his paraglider. Alexander Orlov, 48, wowed onlookers as he took to the skies with his heavy passenger load above the mountain ski resort at Sheregesh, in Kemerovo Oblast.

The extreme sports enthusiast, from Novosibirsk, had to use a large paraglider wing stretching to 42 square metres to cope with the weight of his cargo.

Two of his female passengers used snowboards and the other two were on skis as they made their way down the mountainside before the wind took them off the ground.

In all, the flight lasted three minutes taking the intrepid adventurers a distance of more than 1.3km at a speed of 80km/hour, and hoisting them 700 metres into the air.

Alexander Orlov

Alexander Orlov, 48, wowed onlookers as he took to the skies with his heavy passenger load above the mountain ski resort at Sheregesh. Picture: Alexander Orlov

Project coordinator Anastasia Apletina said: 'We had a special paraglider wing of 42 square metres sewn. It was very large to withstand the very high loads.

'The weight of the crew in this case was a little more than 300kg.'

Orlov, the head of the Vektor paragliding club, successfully carried three passengers last year but decided he had to go one better in 2014.

For it to work this time around, he wanted volunteers who had good skiing or snowboarding skills and had a passion for extreme sports and an active lifestyle.

The women who took part in this year’s success came from Novosibirsk, Kemerovo and Barnaul.

The project coordinator added: 'There weren’t so many wishing to participate, for obvious reasons. Not everybody is ready to participate in these kind of flights, even one-on-one with an instructor. But we found the best – we’re very lucky with the team!'

Four on paraglider in Sheregesh


Four on paraglider in Sheregesh


Four on paraglider in Sheregesh

'Not everybody is ready to participate in these kind of flights, even one-on-one with an instructor. But we’re very lucky with the team!' Picture: Alexander Orlov

Orlov said he had ordered his specially sewed wing in 2009, primarily for rescue operations on the mountainside – before turning it into a daring record-chaser.

He added: 'I came up with the idea to try and use the dome for other tasks, such as flying four people together.

'We tried in 2010 with three pilots, but then we have failed, and the wing broke. The idea to use it again came in December 2013 - then I found three volunteers, and we flew a few times as four together.'

The team is in the process of making a formal application to the Guinness Book of Records.

Read more about previous record set in Sheregesh - 'Largest swimwear parade on skis'.

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