Tom de Dorlodot is recovering in a hospital in Lugano, Switzerland after a crash in high winds during the long-distance Adriatic Circle hike and fly project.
The Belgian adventurer's glider collapsed at the altitude of 25m above the ground, leaving him neither time to throw a reserve parachute or recover his glider. The strong wind blew him into some trees, and the impact has left him with several broken bones.
Despite the breaks, Tom expects to make a full, if slow, recovery.
“We don't know yet, if I'll need surgery,” he said from the hospital bed. "Once stabilised, I may go back to Belgium.”
The accident occurred when Paul Guschlbauer, his partner in the adventure, was nearby, and he was over right away to help. Tom was in the hospital in under an hour.
“I'm most disappointed for the project – it was going really well!” says Tom. “Now, my recovery will be the next challenge. It's not clear how long I will be off my feet. It could have been much worse!”
While Tom's part in the Adriatic Circle trip is certainly over, Paul's plans are as of yet undecided. Tom has offered his full endorsement for Paul to continue on alone – but acknowledges such a trip, solo, will be a difficult one. “I'd be very happy to follow along on the live tracker myself!” he says. “Of course, the decision about continuing solo is totally up to him.”
No matter what, we'll be sure to update you as soon as plans are made.
In the meantime, we hope you join us in wishing Tom a quick recovery. Stay tuned for more.