Wing Suit vs Rock

Posted by at 9 January, at 04 : 05 AM Print

Wing Suit vs Rock

Wingsuit flying has been described as the world’s most exhilarating and dangerous sport. Launching themselves from cliffs wearing a nylon bodysuit, the “wing” being formed by air filling a piece of fabric stretched between the arms and legs, its practitioners glide at speeds of up to 150mph (241 km per hour), often skimming close to the ground before eventually deploying a parachute.

But after the sport’s most deadly summer, during which there has been almost two dozen deaths in three months – the vast majority in the Alps, where flying is legal – participants have begun asking why wingsuit flying has suddenly turned so lethal.

It has not only been less experienced wingsuit fliers who have been dying this summer, but also some of the sport’s most experienced and well-known figures.

Those include Uli Emanuele, famous for flying through a small rock window in Switzerland in 2015, and Alexander Polli, both of whom were killed in accidents in the Alps last month – in Polli’s case attempting to perform a spiral manoeuvre before hitting a tree.

And the sheer number of deaths – in towns such as Chamonix, below Mont Blanc, and in the Lauterbrunnen area of Switzerland – has reached such a level that it is causing serious concern among mountain rescue teams and local residents – some of whom have witnessed fatal accidents.

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