An awe-inspiring video has shown the moment a glider pilot swerved around a tornado in a daring-looking maneuver.
David Evans of Oklahoma City, who has been a pilot for 30 years, pulled the stunt on Sunday when he was confronted with the landspout, The Washington Post reported.
“I have a little motorglider, and you look for these thermals to stay aloft,” Mr Evans explained to the newspaper.
Mr Evans said he set off from Wiley Post Airport on the northwest side of Oklahoma City and went hunting for thermals to carry his glider.
The pilot eventually found an invisible circulation that he was using to propel his craft before it quickly became a long funnel cloud.
“[The thermal] was raising me up at about 100 or 200 feet per minute,” Mr Evans said.
He added: “Then all of a sudden that vapor funnel started forming. It was going down and down and down, but there was no turbulence. I just kept flying around that thing.”
While the tornado was described as “weak” by the newspaper with winds less than 75 mph, it was still classified as an official tornado.
“It was really pretty,” Mr Evans said. “It went from base of clouds … it was a rat’s-tail-looking thing.” The pilot said he had “never seen anything” like it.
In the video footage, Mr Evans can be seen gliding in circles around the mini tornado, pausing for a moment to look into the camera as the scene unfolds.
Ryan Bunker, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma, told The Post they have no “justification as to why it occurred”.
“I’ve seen cool drone footage, but you never see someone in their own plane flying right next to a funnel,” he said.
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