Ogi’s bacon saved by quick-thinking Cross Country Magazine reporter


Ellis Bergman explains how he came to lend his borrowed Ozone LM5 to Red Bull X-Alps athlete and GIN team pilot Kaoru Ogisawa

Kaoru Ogisawa’s Red Bull X-Alps race was saved by a Cross Country magazine reporter today.

Ogi, who flies for GIN as a test pilot and is flying for Japan, crash landed in a tree shortly after taking off from the 1,287m Gaisberg.

Kaoru Ogisawa in the trees at the start of the Red Bull X-Alps. Photo: Ed Ewing

Kaoru Ogisawa in the trees at the start of the Red Bull X-Alps. Photo: Ed Ewing

The Gaisberg is a hill outside Salzburg, where the race starts, and is the first turn point. It is the first place pilots launch from, and a brisk wind saw all pilots launch quickly into the air after reaching the summit.

But Ogi was caught out with a cravat in his glider – he took off with a small cravat on his left side and in the wind drifted slowly into the upper branches of a tree to the left of the launch.

After hanging in the tree for about 20 minutes at about 5m above the ground he was finally rescued, but the wing was still up there.

Gin Seok Song and Kaoru Ogisawa discuss what to do. Photo: Ed Ewing

Gin Seok Song and Kaoru Ogisawa discuss what to do. Photo: Ed Ewing

Ellis Bergman, who has been reporting on the Red Bull X-Alps over the weekend, then offered to lend him his wing, an Ozone LM5. The offer was accepted as organisers and the GIN team didn’t want to see Ogi try to fly a potentially damaged glider.

Ellis Bergman and Gin Seok Song. Photo: Ed Ewing

Ellis Bergman and Gin Seok Song. Photo: Ed Ewing

Some 45 minutes after the tree landing Ogi again took off, to big cheers from the crowds on and around launch.

Keen to catch up with the rest of the pack he then spent 45 minutes flying the Gaisberg before climbing out and heading off down track.


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