Dust devil takes paraglider for terrifying ride

An experienced paraglider had a shocking encounter with a dust devil while preparing for a flight in Manilla, near Tamworth, New South Wales on January 2.

The man, who was visiting from overseas, was one of 40 paragliding pilots setting up to take off for a cross country flight from a popular launch spot on Mount Borah in north western New South Wales.

A dust devil, similar to a mini tornado, rapidly formed and raced across the launch area, catching the paraglider and flinging him into the air.

In this video, filmed by the man's wife, the paraglider is lifted up and swirled around for a few seconds before being ejected out to the side of the fast rotating dust devil.

Other pilots watch on helplessly before scrambling to secure some of the launch mats.

In the video, the man's wife can be heard screaming in terror as her husband is flung about.

"Is he okay?" she can be heard asking the other pilots.

"He's okay," they confirm.

"I never want to fly again," the distressed woman can be heard saying.

Speaking to Storyful, Chief Flying Instructor at Manilla Paragliding Godfrey Wenness said, "The pilot quickly regained control of the glider and flew away to continue on a relatively uneventful five hour and 180 km cross country flight."

"The pilot was uninjured by the incident. The paraglider was undamaged. The video was taken by his wife who is also a pilot," he said.

"Dust devils are the visible rotating core of intense updrafts of air and typically occur on hot dry days in certain atmospheric conditions.

"They can often be seen inland over dusty paddocks over the summer months and occasionally develop on mountain tops.

"Paraglider pilots are taught the risks and avoid flying in or near dust devils," he said.

This isn't the first paragliding accident to occur at the popular Mount Borah launch spot.

In 2014, a 25-year-old German man fell to his death after crashing into the mountainside.

A 42-year-old man also suffered serious injuries after he crashed at Mount Borah in 2013.

In 2017, a 50-year-old woman was airlifted to hospital following a crash-landing after gliding off the mountain.