Wellington ( dpa ) - German adventurer Gerhard (Gerry) Mayr was "extremely lucky to be alive" after his daredevil flight with a motorised paraglider over New Zealand's highest mountain, according to a civil aviation official quoted Friday. Rex Kenny, sport and recreation manager of the Civil Aviation Authority, said officials were considering whether Mayr's flight over 3,754-metre Mount Cook on Wednesday was illegal and if he should be prosecuted, The Press newspaper of Christchurch reported. Kenny noted that Mayr, 42, had been caught in rotor winds which were typical in the lee of the mountain in the Southern Alps. News reports said Mayr, a motor cycle mechanic from Konstanz, had been "jerked like a rag doll" when his chute deflated at one stage and he went into freefall for several hundred metres. The Press said other pilots could not contact Mayr by radio during his flight in the busy airspace where the CAA required broadcasts at 15-minute intervals. Tim Haller, who acted as Mayr's spokesman at the time, said he carried a radio on the flight but it had malfunctioned. Mayr said after the two-and-a-half-hour flight, "If I didn't make it, or really crashed, then it's better than dying at home in bed. It was one of my dreams, and I live my dreams."
German who glided over New Zealand peak "was lucky to survive "
18 January 2008 00:37 (UTC+04:00)