Spanish acro-paraglider Horacio Llorens ticked off one of the items on his bucket list. He paraglided through the Aurora Borealis, fulfilling his lifetime ambition to "dance with Aurora."
Llorens is one of the top acro-paragliders in the world. For many years now, he had been attempting to fuse his passion for flight with the elusive northern lights.
Llorens has traveled around the world as a professional paraglider. In early January, he traveled to Tromsø, a city in Norway, in hopes to catch the northen lights.
The stunning photos were manifestations of his dedication. He spent hours on stand-by amidst temperatures of -15 degrees Celsius. He flew above waters just above freezing point so he also had a wetsuit underneath his flying suit in case of a water touchdown.
Llorens really suited up with his chance encounter with Aurora. The wetsuit would give him a good 20-minute window for the rescuers to locate him. He also had some heated gloves on to keep his fingers warm and enable him to control the throttle finely. Lastly, his paraglider was equipped with spotlights to make him more visible in the night sky.
Kangook, a paramotor chassis firm, and Polini, a motorcycle engine manufacturer, provided Llorens' Thor200 paramotor during the Aurora mission.
"I wanted to make sure I had a very powerful paramotor. The 200cc machine gave me the chance to climb whenever I wanted – or get out of trouble if I needed to," said Llorens.
Llorens said that flying at night during winter in the far north is very challenging.
"Tromsø was different from everything I'm used to. It was cold and dark, the wind was strong, and I was surrounded by water. So every decision was important," said Llorens.
He even joked about the elusive nothern lights saying that Aurora is "very shy," adding that when he asked her out many times before, the mysterious beauty was a "no show."
But when Aurora finally did show, the resulting video and photos were breathtaking. With the government's permission and his trusty Thor200 paramotor, Llorens finally danced with Aurora in this epic flight.
Llorens felt absolutely grateful for the opportunity and for his job. He said he will be coming back to Tromsø soon during the summer months.