Driven by sheer motivation for mastery, Dell Schanze works on the most difficult maneuvers in the sport of paragliding. While working on a maneuver known as the helicopter on a brand new, high performance, acrobatic paraglider; SUPERDELL messed up and didn’t check a surge fast enough after riser twist had him facing the opposite direction his paraglider was going. The surge flicked him towards his glider causing a major collapse which resulted in a cravat where the glider tangled beyond a point where it could be controlled. Immediately assessing the glider was no longer flyable, SUPERDELL threw his reserve. Instead of deploying correctly it was scooped up by the tangled glider and failed to open. Being very safety oriented SUPERDELL is one of the few pilots that fly with 2 reserves when practicing higher risk maneuvers. Without hesitation he grabbed his second reserve and tossed it. This also tangled in the main and failed to open. Now running out of altitude but determined by the challenge of the triple failure he vigorously worked to pull one of the reserves back in to attempt to force it open. With riser twists it was very difficult as everything was wrapped up together but after working it for several seconds he pulled one of the failed reserves within reach where he was able to get it open. It was still snagged in the other lines and instead of opening normally it opened inside out and with a tangle but it was enough to slow his decent for a safe landing in the water below.
When asked if he feared for his life he responded “Some people focus on stress of a conflict taking away their undivided attention on the problem which can dramatically hamper their ability to react effectively under pressure, others are filled with excitement and see a challenge that is fun and completely satisfying to overcome. To me it was a total blast and I was filled with confidence and peace through the entire experience. I wasn’t thinking about living or dying, laughing or crying. I had a job to do and a short deadline and I don’t fail. I expect to succeed at whatever I do. I didn’t waste a single second on how I felt about the problem or the way in which it was placed upon me. I just did what needed to be done and was enthusiastic and happy about doing it.”