May 23, 1988 12:00 PM

When Mark Bourbonnaise was asked to be the first person to launch himself from Toronto’s 1,250-foot CN Tower in a hang glider, he jumped at the chance. A top-ranked Canadian glider, Bourbonnaise, 30, says he couldn’t resist the opportunity “to fly over the city and do it legally.” Besides, as a truck driver and newlywed (six months), he needed the money. As part of a promotional campaign, Pepsi-Cola was ready to pay Bourbonnaise and a pal, gliding instructor Michael Robertson, to make some kind of aviation splash. “The money isn’t what Michael Jackson makes,” admits Robertson, 45, “but it was good.”

So, shortly before 7 a.m. one recent day, Bourbonnaise leaped off the tower’s observation deck, followed immediately by Robertson. Flying their 60-pound gliders over the downtown area and across the shore of Lake Ontario, they made perfect landings at the Toronto Island Airport five minutes later—setting a new record for the highest hang glider flight from a man-made structure. Robertson, a former world gliding champ, found the sojourn very peaceful, “then I looked down and saw all the rush-hour cars backed up.” Bourbonnaise thought the trip was definitely worth his while. “When I saw the city below, it was like a dream,” he says. “I’d do it again—if I were hired again.”

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