Contraptions Fly, Crash At Regatta’s First Flugtag Competition

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A much anticipated event at the EQT Three Rivers Regatta kicked off on Saturday: the Red Bull Flugtag competition. It is the first time the attraction has been in Pittsburgh.

People spent months creating their flying machines, hoping to win the competition. Flugtag means “flying day” in German. Hundreds of people lined the banks of the river at the Regatta, ready to see if the contraptions would fly, or crash.

John Hamelly, who came down to watch the competition, says, “They’re throwing people off that platform into the river, so that’s kind of cool.”

flugtag Contraptions Fly, Crash At Regattas First Flugtag Competition

(Photo Credit: Tim Lawson/KDKA)

“We’re excited. We’re here, there’s beautiful weather, a lot of people down here,” says Dustin Colella, of “The Wright Burgers” Flugtag Team.

One of the flying machines used on Saturday was designed by middle school students. They used their STEM skills to create the contraption used by the team called “Flight Testers.” It took them weeks, but they finally perfected their design.

Each team is judged in three areas: flight distance, creativity of their flying machine and showmanship.

There were certainly some unique designs, including one that looked like a bald eagle’s nest. It was possibly a nod to the beloved bald eagles in Harmar and Hays. But unlike the bald eagles, the fake nest didn’t fly very far.

“I think it’s awesome. It’s great to see everybody out here. The whole city is excited,” says Matt Miceli of Pleasant Hills. “It has been a great days so far, and it’s just awesome to have this here for the Regatta.”

One person got hurt when their flugtag machine crashed into the river. River rescue was called in to help, but that participant is expected to be just fine.

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