Two wingsuit flyers just BASE jumped into a plane in mid-air
French wingsuit flyers recently completed an unbelievable stunt following a B.A.S.E. jump from the top of the Jungfrau mountain in Switzerland. Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet, known as the Soul Flyers, caught up with and flew into a plane in mid-air.
As part of their project A Door in the Sky, which they had spent several months training for by completing more than 100 test flights in Empuriabrava in Spain, the duo B.A.S.E jumped from the top of the Jungfrau, one of Europe’s highest mountains, and flew into a Pilatus Porter light aircraft in mid-air. Now that’s a different way to catch a flight.
How did this project come about?
They wanted to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Patrick de Gayardon’s achievement in 1997, when he jumped from an aircraft with a wingsuit and then flew back into the plane. He was a pioneer in our scene and we wanted to reproduce his stunt. At the beginning of the year, Vince woke up one day and said to Fred, “We have to do it but with a BASE jump from a cliff!”
How different was the training for this stunt?
“When we started to train, we thought it would be easier to be honest. Then we realised that it was quite a technical and mental challenge. We had to be focused. During the first training session in Spain, Fred managed to fly into the plane, but I failed and hurt my ribs. One month later, we came back for another session. We felt better and it worked out. We managed to make it five times.”
How does it feel to enter into a plane at high speed?
“It’s cool but also quite weird! We’re used to jumping from the plane, but here you have to enter into it. You’re falling down and all of a sudden there’s no air anymore. The feeling is quite strange. When you’re in the plane and you see your friend flying closer and closer, it’s incredible. It was very emotional for us because we worked hard to make it happen.”
Old VHS Footage of Shane McConkey
Take a look back in time with Shane McConkey as he BASE jumps from a cliff in Lauterbrunnen. This segment and many more are featured in the film “McConkey”, now available on Red Bull TV!
Fly in Peace, Shane – “You have one life. Live it.”
Shane McConkey (December 30, 1969 – March 26, 2009) was a professional skier and BASE jumper. He was born in Vancouver, was eventually based in Squaw Valley, California, but because he never identified with a single place due to his itinerant childhood, was “from” Boulder, Colorado, where he started his professional skiing career and attended the University of Colorado Boulder before dropping out of college.
He won numerous awards and competitions. McConkey started as a competitive ski racer, but moved on to be featured in a long line of extreme skiing movies. McConkey was known for combining BASE jumping with skiing, as seen in such feats as skiing into a BASE jump off the Eiger. McConkey went to Burke Mountain Academy. He was also known for his contributions to ski design, notably being the father of reverse sidecut and reverse camber skis (aka: skis with rocker); first mounting bindings onto water skis for use in Alaska, then with the Volant Spatula and, more recently, the K2 Pontoon ski design. McConkey’s high-speed chairlift and ski area at Park City Mountain Resort are named after his father, Jim McConkey, who was an early proponent of extreme skiing in the U.S. On April 2, 2011 Shane McConkey was inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of fame along with other Tahoe skiers, Daron Rahlves and Glen Plake.
On March 26, 2009, Shane McConkey died while executing a ski-BASE jump in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy. One of his skis failed to release, sending him into a spin. After he corrected the problem, it was too late to deploy his parachute.
Chris Douggs McDougall
What Does B.A.S.E Stand for? Check out the video to find out the answer!
Base jumping from buildings: Benidorm in Spain and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, antennas in Switzerland and USA, spans in Croatia and Twin Falls in USA and mountains – Riglos in Spain and Monte Brento in Italy.
Chris Douggs McDougall about himself:
“My life has been devoted to BASE jumping and skydiving for over 16 years now – 16 years that have brought me endless joy and adventure and taught me what living life to the fullest really means. BASE jumping proves that nothing is impossible if you chase your dreams with passion and determination.
My chosen adventure sports have taken me to all corners of the globe, exploring some of nature’s true wonders in the company of the world’s most unique, inspirational people. I created BASEdreams to share my experiences of these incredible sports, in the hope that they may inspire even just one person to break free from the constraints of society and achieve what their hearts most desire – whatever that may be.
While only a handful of us will experience BASE jumping, we’re all plunging through the freefall of life. And we have to make the most of it.”
Wingsuit Gliding through the ‘Crack’ Gorge in Switzerland
Soaring at speeds of up to 160 kilometers per hour, Belgium BASE jumper Cedric Dumont has embarked on his latest conquest – taming the ‘Crack’ gorge in Switzerland’s beautiful Churfirsten mountains.
During his two minute descent Dumont is seen only meters from the rock face.
Churfirsten is a mountain range in the Canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland. They form the natural boundary between the canton’s Toggenburg and Sarganserland districts. They are the southernmost range of the Appenzell Alps, separated from the Glarus Alps by the Seez river and Lake Walen. They consist of a limestone ridge running east to west, with the individual peaks formed by erosion. The ridge is defined much more sharply to the south than to the north, with an almost vertical drop of several hundred meters towards Walenstadtberg and eventually Lake Walen at 419 m. The southern slope of the range was significantly formed by the Rhine Glacier during the Würm glaciation.