How hang glider Matjaž Klemenčič made his dreams come true

Published: 7.9.2018

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How hang glider Matjaž Klemenčič made his dreams come true

Ever seen a Jet-powered hang glider swooping a wild river? We did, last week. Slovenian hang glider pilot Matjaž Klemenčič strapped a jet engine to his back and skimmed centimetres above the emerald Soča river. By doing this, he took our breath away and proved yet once again that big dreams will get you far.

How hang glider Matjaž Klemenčič made his dreams come true

Here's the article about Matjaž Klemenčič of one of the most adventureous hang glider pilots. His most recent video does not only show his daring actions, but also showcases the beauties of the Soča Valley Region.

As children we all dream of what we want to become once we grow up. Matjaž spent his childhood days gazing at the sky and nights dreaming about flying. In his wildest dreams, he pictured himself becoming a pilot of a Jet-powered flying machine, flying as fast and as high as possible.

They say big dreams and a relentless attitude will get you far. The old saying has certainly worked out for Matjaž. He first lifted off and rose above his home Soča valley almost two decades ago, but it was this summer when his wildest dreams had become reality.

Matjaž strapped a real life Jet Engine onto his hang glider and transformed it into a fast & load aerial machine that opened a whole new world to him.

“We usually fly high above our home valley. Looking at the breathtaking emerald-coloured Soča River far beneath, I’ve always dreamt about taking a closer look. I wanted to fly low, just above the water surface, between all the big boulders and trees around in the riverbed.”

400 Newtons of jet thrust do not only realise childhood dreams, they also make you go places only birds could fly in to before. Soča river and its riverbed between the towns of Kobarid and Tolmin are tempting and beautiful, yet very challenging to fly — deep pools, high boulders, steep riverbanks full of tall trees and occasional power lines crossing the flow were just a few of the challenges Matjaž faced during his 80 kph low level speed run.  

“By far the biggest hazard I had been facing during the flight was the possibility of engine failure. A 10-litre fuel tank limited my flight time to 8 minutes hence I had to continuously check the amount of airtime left." 

What would happen if something would go wrong? “You only have a couple of milliseconds to react,” explains Matjaž. He would have to make an instant decision where to perform an emergency landing. “When you are flying so low in a very limited airspace, you don’t really have that much to choose from. In our case it was either the river or the sharp rocky riverbank,” adds Matjaž. 

Despite the numerous challenges associated with swooping a river with a Jet-powered hang glider, Matjaž even found the time for some aesthetics and traced beautiful lines on the water surface with his feet. 

What does one do when his wildest childhood dreams are successfully realised? 

“I am going to dream on!” Replies Matjaž smiling ear to ear. 

The text written by Luka Krajnik, video, photos and all other materials provided by Red Bull Slovenia.

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