Splitting the pillars

I’ve posted wingsuit videos here from time to time.  This one’s from the testing of a new design of wingsuit, and begins with splitting twin rock pillars on the Sass Pordoi in Italy.  It continues with a jump from Les Vuardes in France.  I recommend watching it in full-screen mode.

I still say you can’t pay me enough to make me fly that close to a mountain at those speeds.  A highly experienced wingsuit jumper was killed last year on the Sass Pordoi doing just that.



  1. I notice that they seem very conservative regarding the height AGL that they pop their 'chutes.

    I'm guessing that the suits are not capable of converting their velocity into positive G's to level out, let alone trading for altitude.

    Further guessing that their relative lack of speed delays their canopy from fully opening as quickly as a skydiver's would, requiring more time for deployment. A reserve 'chute (if carried) would greatly add to the need for more altitude, if needed.

    Any idea what the speed envelope of wingsuits might be? In other words, if they have a 'chute failure, what sort of speed and sink rate would the flier have to deal with?

  2. average death rate of skydivers is about one in 100,000 jumps. Average death rate for base jumpers runs around one in fifty to one in one thousand jumps. Typically if you make it past a hundred or so base jumps your odds improve.

    And the wing suit jumpers are traveling about 90 to 140 mph, or about the same as a freefalling skydiver. The ramair canopies that both use generally have to be reefed to open more slowly to avoid canopy damage; many base jumpers not using suits actually remove the slider to allow quicker openings at subterminal speeds, such as when jumping from lower altitudes.

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