Serbian acro-paragliding pilot Petar Lončar has done first ever paragliding jump from the Đurđevica Tara Bridge in Montenegro. He jumped from 149 meters high concrete bridge, made a U-turn under the arch of the bridge, and safely landed into the canyon of Tara river.
Monumental Bridge Đurđevica Tara is located in Montenegro, between Budeševica and Trešnjica. It is a concrete, arch bridge built between 1938-1940. It used to be the biggest road bridge in Europe. Bungee jumping, zip lining and rafting are activities that bring many brave adventurers to this location. But Lončar’s project is far more different because of complexity and danger of the whole project, and from the photographers point of view this photoshoot has requiered special planning.
The only way to do paragliding jump from fixed structure is to do a roll over, which basically means that you have to put your paraglider under you or under the bridge, and then do a frontflip while you jump. In that situation a lot of things can go wrong, so it is pretty clear why this project was so dangerous, but there were also other factors that needed to be considered. After we spent two days in Montenegro exploring the location and conditions we came to the conclusion that the best time for the jump would be early in the morning, because of the low traffic frequency and good light.
When everything was perfect, he climbed onto the fence of the bridge, and then jumped, made a U-turn under the arch of the bridge and landed safely into the canyon. The landing was a huge challenge, because there was only one option in the canyon and the jump had to be perfect with no mistakes so he could land on the intended place. Paragliding needed to be open exactly at 100 meters above from the lowest point in the canyon in order for him to make a U-turn under the arch and head to the landing spot.
FROM PHOTOGRAPHER’S PERSPECTIVE
From my previous experience of photoshooting BASE jumps and common projects, I knew that I couldn’t do it only with one camera. You always need several cameras or help from an assistant because these jumps usually last only a few seconds, and you need to take photos from several angles. On the day of the jump we came to the location in four in the morning to set up cameras. I was lucky to have people from Red Rock Zip Line who enabled me to get down the zip line and take a photo of Lončar’s jump from the best possible angle, while I was controlling other cameras with the remote.
This isn’t my first project with Petar, we recently worked together on setting the paragliding world record in the magnificent Cappadocia, Turkey.
„First of all, Predrag is my friend and he is always the first person that I call everytime I have some project in mind. He usually supports me in my adventures. He is the best in what he is doing, very professional and ready to do everything in order to take a picture that he imagined. While I was on the fence of the bridge, Predrag was hanging on a zip line so he could have the best position to take a photo. Without persons like that in your team, nothing would be possible – Peter says.