If you call Pittsburgh Paragliding, you instantly hear a voicemail greeting recorded by co-founder Jon Potter saying that he is away on a trip. Turns out Potter is overseas and parachuting from the Great Wall of China. He claims to be the first person to speed-fly off the wall.
In a new video he posted Tuesday morning, Potter takes flight from the wall and travels downhill for about 19 seconds before safely landing among shrubs. In all, the video is a minute and 30 seconds long.
"Hey!" he shouts to a person watching off camera, who screams in reply. Potter is out of breath but seems ecstatic that he has pulled off the stunt. Apparently, he did not receive permission for his quick flight. At the end of the clip, he says, "The guards are laughing. We're good!"
Potter started Pittsburgh Paragliding with Matt Philips in 2012. On the company's website, Potter reveals that he is a record-holding speed flyer. He also notes that he is the first person to fly off of two world wonders – not including the Great Wall. He flew off Machu Picchu, a peak in Peru that's almost 8,000 feet above sea level, in November 2012. The following May, Potter soared over Petra, Jordan. Both videos are hosted on his YouTube channel.
All three of these sites — the Great Wall, Machu Picchu, and Petra — are listed as new wonders of the world, according to Swiss corporation New7Wonders Foundation.
The Pittsburgh native's trip lasts until April 10. Judging by his latest feat, Potter is having a great time, and he still has more than two weeks left to find a few more adventures.
- Jon Potter