Jumper survives wingsuit proximity crash

Here’s the story. It includes the video from his helmet-mounted camera.

It happened near Chamonix, France - something of a world center for this activity. He flew into the tops of some (obviously rather forgiving) trees at around 90 mph. The path of destruction was around 300 ft long. He lay there for three hours before being found and hauled off to a hospital - where he’s expected to make a good recovery.

Well, add a new item to the list of things I wouldn’t do for a million bucks.

I’m glad he survived, but I have real mixed feelings about the GoFundMe business. If you are a professional (or amateur daredevil), it’s a 99% possibility that you’re going to end up in a hospital bed at some point in your career. I guess I don’t understand why your failure to prepare for that financially should be the world’s problem. That probably makes me sound like a dick, but if I were thumbing through the GoFundMe webpages, I’d be more likely to make donations to the kids with sick puppies or the people facing unforeseen and legitimate medical issues rather than the extreme adventurer who decided to travel to France and jump off a mountain.

Aviation in general is not know for being a forgiving activity.

This sort of flying even less so than most others.

He’s damn lucky to be alive.

Not at all. Completely agree. I wouldn’t finance someone’s failed suicide attempt, either.

One must learn the Way of the Tree Squirrel by saving up resources before one learns the Way of the Flying Squirrel by base jumping in a wingsuit.


How much control over altitude do these people have? I imagine you can trade speed for altitude by pulling back, did he just mis-judge his height or was he unable to pull up to clear the trees?

I have read that the French authorities are taking a second-look at these activities due to the numbers of injuries and fatalities. Though personally if someone wants to risk their life without putting anyone else in danger I have no particular problem with that. At least its a bit more sane than that ‘roofing’ craze thats been going around lately.

Here’s an in-depth interview with the injured jumper. He’s notably frank and forthcoming about what went wrong and where the blame lies (with him).

It’s clear that he definitely got too slow and “behind the power curve” - slower than best glide speed, at which point attempting to “pull up” makes things worse. He then basically “mushed” into the trees - i.e. was close to a stall and had lost controllability.

Ah, I see, thank you :slight_smile:

The problem is, every time some asshole bores into the trees or ground by doing something stupid, other people are put in danger when they have to go rescue him or recover the corpse.

Yes - but to do away with this problem you’d have to eliminate a lot of activities: no wilderness hiking, rock climbing, ocean swimming, scuba diving, cave exploration, flying small planes, riding motorcycles and bicycles, etc.

No you wouldn’t. Post a sign at the trail-head that reads, “Do Stupid Shit at your Own Risk. We ain’t comin’ to save you”.

Of course, first we must kill all the lawyers. :wink:

I don’t disagree, but those people are usually emergency services personnel who knew they’re going to be rescuing people as part of their job, even if it is someone who threw themselves off a perfectly good cliff for a thrill.

Sure am glad he is going to be Oakay…
Seems like just another day at the beech…

Glad he’s okay, and I understand what drives people to do things like that. I’m sure it is an amazing experience, until it isn’t, of course. I can’t stand GoFundMe in general and think that it’s just another excuse for many people not to plan or take responsibility for their own lives. I know it doesn’t apply to all, nothing does, but I can’t stand that site. Life is risky in general, so plan ahead, even if you’re just some guy that keeps his feet on the ground and lives a conservative life.

I saw a video compliation of people doing that earlier this year. Including stuff like people gliding through narrow rock arch’s. Very impressive.

Then I looked it up and saw the sort of death rates that wingsuit daredevils suffer. Even more impressive.

Watch a guy somehow not kill himself flying through a sub 3m gap below.

You pitch for airspeed and power for altitude. I’m sure he could have gained a little, but not much or for very long in unpowered flight.