Mountain Wingsuit Skydiving
GoPro® HD Cameras: Jeb Corliss and Roberta Mancino – Wingsuit Flyers
Mountain wingsuit skydiving combines skydiving, the wingsuit, and a mountainous region. One technique called proximity flying is gliding close to a mountain during freefall. These jumpers apparently got bored with normal wingsuit flying and decided to make the experience even riskier by gliding (at times) just feet away from the mountainous ledges. The footage available online is absolutely incredible. Many of these jumpers are BASE jumping from the top of the mountain and others will jump from a helicopter.
The wingsuit practically gives the skydiver the ability to fly as they glide through the air. The special suit (sometimes referred to as a squirrel or birdman suit) is similar in design to a flying squirrel which can glide from tree to tree. The flying squirrel uses their tail to slow down in flight whereas the wingsuit needs a parachute.
The suit increases the surface area of the skydiver by adding fabric under the arms and between the legs. This increases freefall times and provides better maneuverability. The skydiver manipulates their body position in flight to create the desired amount of lift and drag. Depending upon their body position, the skydiver can glide through the air at speeds of 100mph. Most wingsuits have a 2 to 1 ratio which means that for every foot they drop, they fly two feet forward.
The skydiver can jump from any location that provides sufficient altitude to glide through the air. The wingsuit skydiver will need to use skilled techniques to successfully exit an airplane. When jumping from a helicopter, hot air balloon, blimp, or mountain cliff the skydiver will only begin lift once gravity has provided sufficient airspeed for the suit.
The wingsuit skydiver deploys their parachute at an altitude similar to that of a normal skydive. There is typically a planned landing zone which follows basic skydiving techniques. If necessary, the skydiver will unzip the arm wings to reach the control toggle.
Are you ready to fly?
These are some requirements which will vary depending upon which company you train with. We’ve seen the minimum requirements as low as 150 skydives and as many as 300 skydives before starting a wingsuit training program. It’s necessary to be a professional before wearing the suit because it is truly a different experience from a typical skydive.
200 skydives completed within the past 18 months
75 skydives within the past 12 months
10 skydives within the last month
USPA – B license or equivalent
Proximity Mountain Wingsuit Skydiving
Alexander Polli, Tracksuit, Wingsuit Flying: Reality Of Human Flight