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Fleeting Wonders: Skydiver Dangles From a Plane at 10,000 Feet

A standard, incident-free skydive. (Photo: Jef132/Wikipedia)

Skydiving is a terrifying prospect for many, but in most cases, the fear is irrational—according to the United States Parachute Association, out of an estimated 3.2 million jumps that took place in the country in 2014, there were 24 fatalities.

These relatively reassuring statistics, however, suddenly become irrelevant in the face of dramatic images like those captured over the weekend in Peru. As ABC News reports, experienced skydiver Fernando Gava was jumping out of a plane at 10,000 feet over Lima when one of the legs of his jumpsuit got caught on the exit step.

Gava dangled upside down from the circling plane for about 30 minutes until he managed to cut himself free using a knife he had been carrying. He then free-fell and deployed his parachute as usual, landing safely despite the emergency.

The whole unexpected adventure was captured on video by Gava’s friend Maurice Mathey, who had been standing on the ground waiting for the skydiver to drop in.

According to ABC News, Gava sustained just one minor injury during the ordeal: “a cut on his hand from the knife he used to free himself.”

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to cara@atlasobscura.com.