Special Events: Red Bull Flugtag

Saturday, July 19

Humans were not technically meant to fly. This becomes most obvious when we attempt to take to the air without the aid of aeronautical advancements like professionally designed aircraft and trained pilots. But try telling this to the folks who've signed up for the Red Bull Flugtag. During Tampa's Flugtag — German for "flying day" — 40 teams of five fliers (including a team from Creative Loafing) will launch their homemade, human-powered crafts off a 30-foot deck to see who can soar the farthest over the waters of the Garrison Channel. Typically, the flight path is more vertical than horizontal; the distance record of 155 feet was set in Nashville in '07. Teams get points for distance flown, aircraft creativity and showmanship; the winning team receives a pilot's training course, with skydiving and paragliding lessons for the second- and third-place winners. Since we've all seen gliders launched off cliffs on TV, the outrageousness of Flugtag's flying machines and the antics of the flight crews make it a worthwhile spectacle even if the flight distances are less than impressive. Sat., July 19, gates open at 11 a.m., with flights to commence at 1 p.m., City Park at Tampa Convention Center, 333 S. Franklin St., free, redbullflugtagusa.com.

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