Filed Under News on 2012-03-11, 15:28
I’ve been fascinated with wingsuit flying ever since the first video I saw a couple years back. I’ve posted about wingsuit flying previously, and I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve shared videos like Jeb Corliss’s Grinding the crack with people. When watching videos of BASE jumpers with wingsuits I always have the thought, “When are they going to pull their parachute?” What if the answer was “they aren’t”?
Gary Connery plansto be the first person to do exactly that. In April of 2012 he will be the first person to jump from a helicopter with a wingsuit but no parachute. It will all go down in the UK, in the Ridge Wood area, just northeast of Henley-On-Thames. Gary will be jumping from a helicopter at a modest, but still dangerous, height of 2,400ft. He will quickly accelerate to around 80mph, then glide at 60mph (while falling at 22mph) almost a mile away to land in a box rig. (A box rig is a large stack of cardboard boxes commonly used in the stunt industry to cushion falls like this 150ft jump). Approximately 200ft away from the box rig, Gary will need to flare his custom made wingsuit in an attempt to bring his gliding speed down to 50mph and his vertical falling speed to 15mph before not-so-gently landing in the pile of cardboard.
Jumping from high places and flying in wingsuits is obviously nothing new to Gary. He has over 880 skydives and 450 BASE jumps under his belt, and has spent the last 8 years focusing on wingsuit flying. He’s also an experienced stuntman who’s done a number of jumps for movies such as The Beach, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as well as an experienced stunt coordinator for dozens more. Check out his IMDb page as well as videos of him flying through the infamous “Crack”, and doing a 60ft jump into a box rig.
Gary Connery, much like Jet Man Yves Rossy, is doing this all with the help of a watch company. The British based company Bremont is sponsoring this attempt at breaking a world record of being the first to land a wingsuit. In addition, Gary is working closely with Tonysuits, a wingsuit manufacturer, to make a custom designed wingsuit that will help him land this attempt. Best of luck to Gary and I can’t wait to see the video!