Trisha Shetty (Editor)

List of fatalities due to wingsuit flying

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Fatalities from wingsuit flying have occurred almost from the inception of the sport. Below are listed the most notable ones.

List of fatalities due to wingsuit flying

16 September 1963
Stunt parachutist Gerard Masselin jumped from a biplane showing his wingsuit to the camera and was killed after his parachute failed to open.
13 April 1998
French skydiver Patrick de Gayardon died while testing a new modification to his parachute container in Hawaii; his death was attributed to a rigging error that was part of a new modification, rather than a flaw in the suit's design. Sixth months prior, on 31 October 1997, he had held a press conference showing off the wingsuit—which he claimed had an unparalleled record of safety and performance.
5 October 2003
Dwain Weston, an Australian skydiver and holder of the 2002 BASE-jumping world title, died after hitting a railing on the Royal Gorge Bridge near Cañon City, Colorado. This was not a BASE accident as he jumped from an airplane; it was technically an illegal jump as he used BASE equipment containing only one parachute (i.e., no reserve parachute, which is required to legally jump from an aircraft). The pilots were eventually reprimanded for allowing the jump.
22 October 2004
Roland "Slim" Simpson was a well known Australian BASE jumper. On 6 October 2004, Roland Simpson leapt from the Jin Mao Tower, the tallest skyscraper in China at the time, in a wingsuit. After a good jump and flight, his parachute opened with multiple line twists making it difficult to steer and he crashed onto an adjacent building. He went into a coma, and died several days later in Canberra Hospital.
17 September 2005
Adrian Nicholas, the world record holder of the longest dive at that time, was jumping in Texel, the Netherlands. While performing a high speed landing manoeuvre, his automatic activation device fired at approximately 300 feet above the ground and deployed his reserve parachute. He attempted to correct the situation by releasing his main parachute, however, he still hit the ground hard enough that he died at the scene as a result of his injuries.[4]
16 February 2006
Chad Zielinski exited a DHC-6 Twin Otter, and he died upon impact into the sea, after a wingsuit flight over Belize. An inspection of his gear showed no attempt to deploy either main or reserve parachute. His gear did not have an AAD installed.
9 May 2007
American adventurer and TV personality Jimmy Hall, age 41, was on an expedition to Baffin Island in northern Canada. After several days of successful jumps, Hall attempted a wingsuit flight through a canyon. He failed to clear a ledge, and impacted the cliff.
26 March 2009
Shane McConkey was a professional skier and BASE jumper. McConkey was performing a complicated ski-BASE jump in Italy. He experienced problems when he attempted to release his skis, and as a result failed to deploy his parachute in time.
28 August 2009
Eli Thompson died while performing a wingsuit proximity-flying jump from a helicopter in the Swiss Alps. He accidentally hit the side of the mountain.
April 2010
Geoffrey Robson died during a wingsuit BASE jump from Stellenbosch, South Africa. He was a PhD candidate at ETH Zürich working on the mathematical modelling of the aerodynamic characteristics of wingsuits. He was described by a former professor as "very careful [, taking] the sport seriously".
2011
Ten people died in Wingsuit BASE jumping accidents.
23 June 2012
Hervé le Gallou, who was, along with Dave McDonnell, one of the first persons to jump from the Burj Khalifa, died wing-suiting on Grande Tête de l'Obiou in the French Alps.
12 December 2012
Eiliv Ruud, 37, struck a vertical cliff and spiraled out of control during a wingsuit jump near Grand Canyon in the United States.
14 August 2013
Mark Sutton, a British stuntman who had parachuted into the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony as a James Bond character, was killed when he hit a ridge while wingsuit BASE-jumping near Martigny, Switzerland. He was participating in an event sponsored by Epic TV, and a wingsuit expert stated that he appeared to have miscalculated the gradient of the ground he was flying over.
23 August 2013
Álvaro Bultó, a Spanish wing-suit flier, died after a wing-suit BASE-jump in Switzerland.
8 October 2013
Hungarian Viktor Kováts died in rural China during a trial flight for the world BASE-jump championships.
13 March 2014
Prolific climber, adventurer and BASE jumper Sean "Stanley" Leary was killed in a BASE jumping accident near Zion National Park, Utah.
29 March 2014
Three experienced wing-suit flyers: New Zealander Dan Vicary (33), Frenchman Ludovic Woerth (34), and American Brian Drake (33), jumped from a helicopter over the Lütschental area near Bern, Switzerland. They had planned to land in the valley, but took a wrong turn, flew over the wrong ridge, and crashed into an Alpine pasture. Vicary and Woerth were found dead; Drake died four days later in a hospital.
6 June 2014
Darío Barrio, a famous Spanish TV Chef, owner of the Madrid restaurant Dassa Bassa and an experienced wing-suit flier, died in an accident while participating in the International Air Festival at Segura de la Sierra in Jaén, a province in southern Spain. Darío, aged 42, was supposed to fly over an old castle but, for unknown reasons, crashed into the cliff where the castle is located.
2 September 2014
Alex Duncan, a 26-year-old Australian from Manly, Sydney, died after crashing into a mountain during a jump in the Swiss Alps. He was new to the international wing-suit scene but had been involved with extreme sports since he was a teenager.
14 January 2015
Josh Sheppard, a 31-year-old experienced wing-suit flier and skydiver with more than 3,000 jumps, died when his parachute failed to open after illegally jumping from a Michigan TV tower.
16 May 2015
Dean Potter, 43, and Graham Hunt, 29, died during an illegal wing-suit flight from Taft Point, in Yosemite National Park.
3 July 2015
Jhonathan "The Birdman" Florez, a 2013 wingsuiting world champion, died after falling from the exit point at Engelberg, Switzerland.
1 October 2015
American Johnny Strange, 23, crashed into the ground and died after jumping from a 2,000-metre summit in the Swiss canton of Uri.
7 June 2016
Brazilian Fernando Brito, 42, died while trying to jump from Pedra da Gávea, Rio de Janeiro.
9 June 2016
33-year-old Italian basejumper star Dario Zanon, known as The Great Dario, one of the world's top wingsuit drivers, died on the side of the French side of Mont Blanc Massif after a failed wingsuit flight from the Aiguille du Midi.
26 June 2016
Gary Kremer, 30-year-old American basejumper and former U.S. Marine, died while wingsuit flying with friends in Canada.
17 August 2016
Uli Emanuele, 29-year-old Italian base jumper, died in a crash at Lauterbrunnen in Switzerland while shooting a new video. He was famous for his flights through a ring of fire and a needle's eye formed by a rock.
21 August 2016
Alexander Polli, 31-year-old Italo-Norwegian base jumper, died after crashing into a tree at an altitude of 1,500m near Chamonix.
26 August 2016
Armin Schmieder, 28-year-old Italian base jumper, died after jumping from Kandersteg, in the Swiss Alps.
18 November 2016
Mehdi Habibi, Iranian base jumper, died after jumping with Wingsuit from the "High Ultimate" in Lauterbrunnen, Mürren area in the Swiss Alps. He was found dead in rough terrain by a team of Air Glaciers in the afternoon of the same day according to the local police report. His body was subsequently recovered by the rescue team. The incident is believed to have occurred around 9 AM on Friday, November 18th.
27 January 2017
Canadian wingsuit flier Graham Dickinson died after a crash during training in south China. His body was found on a cliff at the Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park in Zhangjiajie of Hunan Province.

References

List of fatalities due to wingsuit flying Wikipedia


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