Bird’s eye view of Brighton’s newest tourist attraction – The Argus
A GLIDING instructor and his student were given a bird’s eye view of Brighton’s newest tourist attraction.
Soaring at a height of up to 2,000 feet along the Sussex coastline, Tim Digings and his pupil Alex Towner swooped down on the British Airways i360.
Mr Digings of Fly Sussex Paragliding said it was the best way to experience the 162 metre tourist attraction – less than 24 hours after he had ridden up in its pod for his girlfriend Nikki Fox’s birthday.
Hundreds of sightseers caught the spectacle, including i360 customers in the pod, before the pair touched down on the beach at Hove Lawns.
The pair took off from Fly Sussex’s private training site near Kingston on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr Digings, an instructor with 15 years of gliding experience, said they were “ridgesoaring” close to the hill for about 15 minutes before “hooking” and climbing all the way up to around 2,000 feet.
The pair passed over Brighton at about 40mph and passed above a light aircraft on their way to the i360.
To the delight of onlookers they performed a series of aerobatics before Mr Towner started taking pictures of the £46.2 million tower where customers were waving and filming the flight.
Mr Digings said he could have continued gliding all the way to Worthing but instead opted for a soft landing on Hove beach.
Mr Digings said: “The i360 looked tiny from our vantage point.
“I’d been up the tower the day before for my girlfriend’s birthday and had said that I’d love to come and fly past it but I wasn’t expecting to get a chance so soon.
“The view from the tower is pretty good but you can’t beat the view from a paraglider at about four times it’s height.
“We’re subject to the same restrictions as aircraft so we’re not allowed to fly below 500 feet over people or buildings unless you are landing
“We picked a nice quiet patch on the beach and landed on the pebbles adjacent to Hove lawns.
“The landing was so gentle that the guy closest to us didn’t even wake up.”