NBC Bay Area's Bob Redell “Flugtags” Into Bay

If you don't know NBC Bay Area's Bob Redell, well, he's kinda' zany.

If you don't know NBC Bay Area's Bob Redell, well, he's kinda' zany.

But he took zany to new levels on Friday, when he propelled himself off a mini-cable car into the San Francisco Bay near McCovey Cove in an annual event called the Red Bull Flugtag. Yes, flugtag.

(For the non-German speaking, flugtag literally means "flight day" and is a type of airshow.)

The actual flugtag event of "high-flying thrills" is held today in San Francisco. Roughly 30 human-powered flying machines will participate:  They followed all sorts of rules and made creative video entries to be part of the lucky group chosen to be part of the decade-old stunt.

The event start at 1 p.m. and is expected to last until 4 p.m.

But Redell decided to give flugtagging a whirl before the official event. He knew he'd be judged on three things: distance traveled, creativity of the flying aircraft and showmanship.

Dressed in a suit jacket and tie (what else?), a helmet and red swimming trunks, Redell sped off a 30-foot-high deck off a pier in a borrowed miniature cable car designed by Chris Dadzitis and Kate Witherspoon of Spoonovations.

He said he had wanted to do a dive, and then a cannonball, off the flying, 300-pound vehicle, but then "gravity just took over."

He landed with a great big splash in the Bay. Surprisingly, he said he wasn't freezing.

He did share a few fleeting airborne thoughts, such as: "There was this moment when I thought, 'Boy, is this a good idea?' " and "'Is this going to land on me?'''

But then, there was no time to really think before he simply plunged into the water. Afterward, he was picked by police in a Jet Ski-type device, and he gave a hearty thumbs up to the crowd.

Yes, this was Redell's first time flugtagging (try saying that ten times fast). And yes, he said he would "absolutely" do it again.

The Red Bull Flugtag event opens at 11 a.m. Saturday and the first flight takes off at 1 p.m. It's free and open to the public.

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