the last flight
March 26, 2006 12:21 PM   Subscribe

Death of a birdman: the first man to fly in a hang glider over Everest, Siberia and Sahara, breaking altitude records, flying with eagles, cranes and condors born in captivity (Flash video), he lost his life today in a plane crash. Angelo D'Arrigo, 1961-2006.
posted by funambulist (12 comments total)
oops, forgot another warning: the very first link has embedded video with music, so turn down the speakers before clicking!
posted by funambulist at 12:36 PM on March 26, 2006

Wow...! What a life he led! Thank you for this post, funambulist. Though it's content is sad, there is nothing at all sad about what he accomplished for himself. The Everest story was of particular interest to me and was, by itself, a worthwhile link (IMHO).

R.I.P., Angelo. You were a brave and amazing person.
posted by Moody834 at 2:24 PM on March 26, 2006

posted by moonbird at 2:48 PM on March 26, 2006

posted by Thoth at 3:51 PM on March 26, 2006

Did he get that thing I sent him?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:53 PM on March 26, 2006

oops, forgot another warning: the very first link has embedded video with music, so turn down the speakers before clicking!

Are the people who create these sites so incredible, blazingly ignorant that they have ZERO clue that people might just POSSIBLY be listening to their OWN music on their computer?

Qh wait, they're web developers, they're ignorant dolts by definition.
posted by HTuttle at 3:54 PM on March 26, 2006

What an extraordinary man and life he led. He seemed to have a real affinity for birds and for flight. Thank you for this interesting and uplifting :) FPP funambulist.

There is a guestbook one can sign and pay one's respects. Interesting entries from all over the world.

Riposa in pace Angelo.
posted by nickyskye at 4:12 PM on March 26, 2006

Extraordinary? Nuts is more like it. This is the stuff Darwin Awards are made of.

Why are people who purposely seek dangerous situations admired? And are we supposed to care when their death wish is finally granted?
posted by Doohickie at 8:19 PM on March 26, 2006

wait, they're web developers, they're ignorant dolts by definition.

Usually such sites are created not by the web-savvy, but by those who imagine the web as being a kind of personal TV. It's not just listening to your own music, it's the five or twenty other sites you might have open. There's nothing more frustrating than cycling through tabs (or worse, windows) for the one that's making noise.
posted by dhartung at 8:32 PM on March 26, 2006

wait, they're web developers, they're ignorant dolts by definition.

Tell us how you really feel, HTuttle.

As for the post, that's pretty amazing, ironic and sad.
posted by sharpener at 10:53 PM on March 26, 2006

Yes, very sad and ironic, because he ended up dying in an ordinary tourist plane, piloted by a General of the Italian Air Force, no less!

It's still not entirely clear what the causes of the crash were. A flight instructor who witnessed the accident said the plane stalled while veering so the pilot could not regain control; they crashed from a height of about 200 mt. Both D'Arrigo and the General had 25,000 hours of flying experience. (source)

One note: I put the "extreme sports" tag because this is technically an extreme sport, but it's worth stressing that this was not a daredevil thrillseeker hobbyist (not that there's anything wrong with that either, IMHO, it just is a different thing), but a highly qualified and professional pilot and athlete, a licensed flight instructor, ski instructor and Alpine guide, who worked with scientists, researchers, medical teams, and of course the Italian Air Force, aerospace agencies, conservation agencies, government agencies from several countries, etc., and obviously his endeavours contributed not only to medical and aerospace research but also research on migratory birds, as well as conservation of engendered species. See here on one of his projects:

He continues to conduct research on the laws of imprinting in the footsteps of Nobel Prize winner Konrad Lorenz. ...
Angelo's project is backed by researchers in many fields and across the world, from sports medicine to aerospace medicine, from ornithology to aerodynamics. An authoritative pool of institutes and people have become inseparable project partners: the Italian Olympic (CONI) Committee's Centro di Medicina Sportiva (Prof. A. Dal Monte), the Italian Military Air Force's Centro Sperimentale di Medicina Aerospaziale (Gen. V. Parma), the FIAT Research Centre (Aeronautical Eng. N. Di Giusto), the International Crane Foundation in Washington (Dr. G. Archibald), the Russian Research Institute for Nature and Protection in Moscow (Prof. A. Sorokin).

posted by funambulist at 1:36 AM on March 27, 2006

posted by yoga at 7:07 AM on March 27, 2006

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