The infinity tumble is a precise maneuver peformed by paragliding pilots who must be totally focused on the task at hand in order to minimize risk. For the observer, it's an amazing move, with the pilot tumbling completely over the glider multiple times in a row. Add a sky full of colorful hot-air balloons, the beatiful landscape of Cappadocia, Turkey, and an attempt to set a record for simultaneous tumbles by multiple pilots, and you have one thrilling spectacle to behold — watch it in the video player above.
Pilots Veselin Ovcharov, Ondrej Prochazka and Petar Lončar took a trip to the Turkish site, which is renowned for its incredible pillarlike structures, and lauched from the basket of a balloon to accomplish their feat. They managed to set the world record — 126 — for three pilots completing an infinity tumble in sync.
The idea originally came from Lončar, says fellow pilot Ovcharov. "He wanted to go to this unique place where you can see many balloons all at once. They were really open to hosting us and our permit to fly in this area with the balloons was accepted."
Taking part in the challenge was much different for the pilots than their previous flights, as spectators were looking at them from the sky. "The cool thing was getting to perform our acrobatics for spectators who were not on the ground, but in the air," Ovcharov explains. "It was a 3D moment, and nice to present for them."
The trio were able to make Cappadocia their playground and use the site to fly around and launch from. It took an incredible amount of skill to be tumbling so fast with other pilots close by.
"It takes good coordination of safety," say Ovcharov. "You need to be extremely conscious of your friends' movements, as it's pretty extreme."
"The [infinity tumble] has become pretty mainstream over the past year, with hundreds of people completing it. But no one had performed it [with] three guys side-by-side.
"It was exciting to perform. We entered the maneuver correctly but there was some interference in the trajectory and I could see my friends getting closer. It was an emotional moment trying to ensure I could move and we were all safe."
Now that they have completed the effort with three pilots, the team is already thinking about adding more and more pilots to the mix — only the most skilled, of course.
Prochazka said that the amount of turns wasn't as important as setting the record and seeing what will follow. He is enthusiastic about the potential to add more pilots into the mix.
"We could go for 500 turns, but that's not the point, we wanted to establish the record in this amazing place," he says. "So we tried to deliver and turn in sync. Hopefully in the future we can go for four, five, six, seven or more.
"The limit is only getting the pilots together, as the greater the number the more technical it becomes. Four or five for me is definitely possible and we are doing a lot of training here in Norway at the moment. But we could do a lot more. Let's see if time and skills will get us there."