How Many Wingsuit Deaths Have There Been? | FlightNotch

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Key Takeaways

  • Wingsuit flying is an exhilarating yet dangerous extreme sport.
  • It is estimated that 1 in 500 jumps result in death.
  • It can be assumed that at least 400 wingsuit deaths have occurred.

Wingsuit flying is one of the most dangerous sports in the world. In this overview, learn how many wingsuit deaths there have been over the years.

While there are no official statistics for wingsuit fatalities since the sport is not heavily regulated, it is estimated that 1 in 500 jumps result in death and there have been at least 400 deaths over the years. This makes it one of the most dangerous sports in the world.

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Table of contents


How Dangerous is Wingsuit Flying?

Wingsuit flying, also known as wingsuiting, is one of the most thrilling and extreme sports out there. Utilizing specially designed suits with fabric between the legs and under the arms, participants glide through the air as they take part in this captivating activity. However, the high level of excitement comes with significant risks.

When flying with wingsuits, you're constantly testing your physical and mental limits. There are a variety of factors that can make this sport particularly dangerous, such as the speed, altitude, and proximity to various obstacles like cliffs, trees, or buildings. One mistake can lead to a devastating outcome, and the sport has seen numerous fatalities over the years.

In 2016, wingsuit BASE jumping experienced its deadliest year on record, with at least 31 fatalities. In more recent years, the number of deaths has remained concerning, sometimes reaching double-digit figures.

While the inherent risks of wingsuit flying cannot be eliminated, there are ways to minimize danger. Proper education, training, and experience all contribute to a safer wingsuit flying experience. Additionally, taking necessary safety precautions and considering the psychological aspects of this extreme sport is vital for managing the risks involved.

To sum it up, wingsuit flying is an exhilarating yet hazardous sport. If you decide to participate, make sure you fully understand the dangers, prepare yourself with adequate training and experience, and always prioritize safety first.

Wingsuit Deaths and Fatalities

Wingsuit flying is an extreme sport that involves soaring through the air with the aid of a specially designed suit. While it can be thrilling and awe-inspiring, it comes with its fair share of risks, including death. In this section, we will discuss some of the fatalities and deaths associated with wingsuit flying.

Annual wingsuit deaths are not static, with some years witnessing more fatalities than others. It is difficult to provide an exact figure for the number of total wingsuit deaths, as the numbers vary by year and can be influenced by factors such as weather conditions, equipment malfunctions, and the skill level of the wingsuit BASE jumpers.

That said, it is estimated that roughly 1 in 500 wingsuit jumps result in death. Over the years, there have been thousands and thousands of wingsuit flights and jumps, and it’s estimated that at least 400 deaths have occurred. This number is likely even higher than that, and it will only grow as more and more people get into the sport.

It's important to understand that wingsuit flying is inherently risky and can result in fatal consequences even for experienced practitioners. Many notable wingsuit pilots, like Patrick de Gayardon and Dean Potter, have lost their lives during their flights, serving as a reminder of the potential dangers involved in this extreme sport.

Some common causes of wingsuit fatalities include collisions, parachute failure, and loss of control during flight.

To minimize the risk of accidents and fatalities, many wingsuit flyers undergo extensive training and education to develop their skills and understanding of safety measures. By continuously working on improving their techniques and using reliable equipment, a wingsuit pilot can greatly improve their chances of completing their flights safely.

In summary, wingsuit flying is an exciting and daring sport that comes with inherent risks, including fatalities. While the exact number of wingsuit deaths can vary from year to year, it's important for those participating in the sport to continually educate themselves and practice safety measures to minimize the risks involved.

Remember to always take necessary precautions and plan your flights carefully to enjoy this thrilling activity safely.

Notable Wingsuit Deaths

You might be interested to know about some of the notable wingsuit deaths that have occurred over the years. The sport has been popular among extreme athletes, but it has also seen its fair share of tragedy.

Franz Reichelt

Reichelt was one of the inventors of the design that led to the modern wingsuit, and he met a tragic end on February 4, 1912. While testing his invention by jumping off the Eiffel Tower, tragedy struck and flight failed, causing him to lose his life in the process.

Gerard Masselin

A stunt parachutist, Gerard jumped from a biplane in 1963 to showcase his wingsuit. Sadly, his parachute failed to open, and he did not survive the stunt.

Patrick de Gayardon

On April 13, 1998, Patrick, a pioneer in wingsuit design, died during a test flight. His work paved the way for many of the wingsuits used in the sport today.

Shane McConkey

This extreme athlete lost his life on March 26, 2009, while performing a wingsuit jump combined with a ski-BASE jump in Italy. His tragic death was a result of a parachute malfunction.

Dwain Weston

An accomplished wingsuit flyer, Dwain passed away on October 5, 2003, during a jump at the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado. He collided with the bridge and did not survive the impact.

Dean Potter

A well-known BASE jumper, Dean Potter, along with his friend Graham Hunt, died during a wingsuit flight in Yosemite National Park on May 16, 2015. They both hit a rocky ridge at high speeds during their aerial adventure.

Mark Sutton

A stuntman who is best remembered for portraying James Bond during the 2012 London Olympics, Mark tragically died on August 14, 2013, while wingsuit flying in the Swiss Alps. He collided with a mountain ridge during the flight.

Remember that these are just a few examples of notable wingsuit deaths from the history of the sport, and many others have tragically lost their lives while pursuing this exhilarating activity.

Wingsuit Safety and Training

Wingsuit flying is an extreme sport that requires a high level of skill and experience. To participate in this sport safely, it is crucial for you to undergo proper safety training and education. Acquiring the necessary knowledge and improving your skills minimizes the risks involved in the sport.

Accidents and injuries are common in any high-risk sport, and wingsuit flying is no exception. Before embarking on this adventure, it is essential to understand the importance of learning from experts and following safety guidelines. Continuous training and education are vital. It helps you navigate different situations, avoid accidents, and reduce the chances of injuries.

Investing time in proper safety training is one way to make this sport safer for you. Adequate training helps you develop the right techniques and habits, master the art of flying, and mitigate risks.

A good training program will not only cover technical aspects but also emphasize decision-making, situational awareness, and understanding your equipment. This holistic approach to learning will contribute to your overall wingsuit safety.

In any extreme sport like wingsuit flying, there will always be inherent risks. However, you can minimize these risks by following safety measures, committing to regular practice, and continuous improvement of your skills. Fostering a culture of safety and responsible participation in the sport will contribute to reducing the number of accidents and fatalities.

Always remember, your safety and well-being while participating in wingsuit flying rely heavily on the quality of your training and education, as well as your dedication to practicing the sport safely.

Skydiving and BASE Jumping Deaths vs Wingsuiting

When you think of skydiving and BASE jumping deaths, it's important to differentiate these activities from wingsuit flying. While they may share certain risks and hazards, their fatality rates and the specific causes of accidents can differ significantly. In this section, we'll outline the distinctions between skydiving, BASE jumping, and wingsuit flying fatalities.

Skydiving deaths, which involve parachute use, tend to be lower in comparison to wingsuit flying and BASE jumping. For instance, the fatality rate for a wingsuit BASE jump is estimated to be around 1 in 600 jumps. On the other hand, wingsuit skydiving (with parachute deployment) has a much lower fatality rate per jump, making it a relatively safer activity.

BASE jumping, which stands for Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth, refers to extreme jumping from these fixed structures. Fatalities are more common in BASE jumping, particularly with the added complexity of a wingsuit. Between 2002 and 2007, there were 61 recorded BASE jumping fatalities.

Among these, 10 (16%) involved the use of wingsuits. This number grew to 59 fatalities between 2008 and 2011, with 29 (49%) of them related to wingsuit usage. Proximity flying, or flying close to obstacles, is a common contributing factor to these accidents. Wingsuit path miscalculation is attributed to 39% of the fatalities.

In summary, when comparing skydiving, BASE jumping, and wingsuit flying:

  • Skydiving, even with a wingsuit, generally has lower fatality rates.
  • Wingsuit BASE jumping presents higher fatality rates than skydiving.
  • Proximity flying and path miscalculations are significant factors in wingsuit accidents.

Keep in mind that engaging in any of these activities requires proper training, equipment, and risk management to minimize the chances of accidents. Always seek guidance from experienced instructors and adhere to safety protocols when participating in these exhilarating sports.