Paraglider loses control as dust devil flings him around

Originally published at:


Step 1: Steer away from the dust devil.

1 Like

I wonder where the line between dust devil and f0 tornado is?

Tip: Always wear brown pants.


Australia, where even the weather wants to kill you.


Years ago I was out on the Navajo Rez (Cameron, AZ for those wondering) and I hopped into my car to look for my sunglasses. A dust devil whirled up around the car, and my radar detector – which I had turned off – suddenly started beeping like crazy and then finally died down.

It wasn’t til years later (thanks to Wikipedia) that I learned that dust devils generate tremendous amounts of electrical energy.


It made the sound of the wailing banshee, very disturbing.


My only time parachuting, I learned that steering in either direction puts you into a deep spiral, which made me feel like I might lose some ballast involuntarily, if you get my drift. Look out below!


As far as damage done, I dunno. I’ve seen some pretty hairy dust devils, but an F0 can be up to 72 mph. Some dust devils can get close to that - they top out about 60 mph or so - but those are rare.

They’re totally different mechanisms, too. Dust devils are warm-weather high-pressure thermal convective columns, and usually occur on hot, clear days. Tornadoes, OTOH are associated with rotating cumulonimbus storm-cell circulation.


I wish all thermals would pick you up off the ground like that. It would save all that tedious hill climbing and aero towing.

1 Like

I don’t think that would work. The way to get away from a swirling mass, air or water, is to move in the direction of the swirl, not perpendicularly to it.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.