"Super Dell" Injured in Glider Crash

"Super Dell" Injured in Glider Crash

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Calls to local computer pitchman Dell Schanze's newest business venture Thursday were met by this recorded message:

"If you're getting this message, I must be out flyyyyying ...," Schanze says, using his trademark screeching voice that's become familiar to Utah residents through his many television and radio ads.

True, Schanze was out flying Thursday -- at least until things went wrong.

Schanze, who recently added paragliders and other flying sports gear to his "Totally Awesome" line of chain stores, was flying a paraglider when high winds sent him crashing into a field southwest of Salt Lake City around 9 a.m., said Salt Lake County Fire Capt. Doug Obert.

Obert was driving back to a fire department training tower Thursday morning when he saw an ultralight aircraft being tossed about in the gales.

The paraglider's canopy collapsed and Obert saw the craft start to fall to the ground from about 75 feet in the air.

"I figured he was actually in trouble when I saw the second chute deploy," Obert said.

After the initial impact, the glider dragged Schanze across a road and through a field, Obert said.

Schanze was able to walk away from the accident and was in good condition at LDS Hospital.

When Obert approached Schanze to ask him if he was OK, Obert said he immediately recognized the computer salesman's voice.

Schanze, known as "Super Dell," is known for his unconventional advertisements in which he usually yells loudly with his high-pitched voice.

The machine Schanze was flying appeared to be similar to those he sells, Obert said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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