Ewa Wiśnierska

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Ewa Wiśnierska, née Cieślewicz (born 23 December 1971, Nysa, Poland), is a German paraglider, a member of the German national paragliding team, who won the Paragliding World Cup on several occasions. She is mostly known for having survived extreme cold, lightning and lack of oxygen during an ascent to almost 10,000 metres (33,000 ft) inside a cumulonimbus cloud.[1]

Wiśnierska lives in Aschau im Chiemgau, Bavaria, where she teaches paragliding[2] and runs a company which offers courses in personal development.[3]


On 14 February 2007, in spite of weather reports heralding the presence of violent thunderstorms, Wiśnierska decided to try to fly in order to train for the 2007 paragliding world championship near Manilla, New South Wales, Australia. She got trapped in the updraft of two joining thunderstorms. Unable to get out, she was lifted to an altitude of 9,946 metres (32,631 ft), according to her GPS. The GPS variometer also tracked vertical speeds of up to +20 m/s (77 kilometres per hour (48 mph)).[4] She landed 3.5 hours later about 60 kilometres (37 mi) north of her starting position.

In the same weather event, the Chinese paraglider He Zhongpin was killed by a lightning strike.[5]


In 2010, ABC1 and France 5 made the documentary film Miracle in the Storm about her story.[6] The film was nominated as Most Outstanding Factual Program for the Logie Awards of 2011 and won the category Best Cinematography in a Documentary at the 2010 Australian Film Institute Awards.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Paraglider Cheats Death In Thunderstorm", by Tucker Reals, CBS News, 11 February 2009
  2. ^ Travel & Training: Flight-Coaching (in German)
  3. ^ mewa Akademie und Verlag (in German)
  4. ^ "Paraglider survives wild flight", Herald Sun, 17 February 2007
  5. ^ "Lightning killed paraglider – National". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
  6. ^ Miracle in the Storm on IMDb
    Miracle in the Storm, ABC1, summary