Death

Tragic Stories of Wingsuit Deaths

Wingsuit jumping is an even more dangerous offshoot of the already dangerous sport of BASE jumping. The jumper wears a specially made suit designed to inflate after they jump out of a helicopter or airplane, and they theoretically glide down to the earth.The suit provides enough lift to significantly slow descent, and allows the flyer to achieve forward momentum, though it's extremely difficult to control. As a precaution, jumpers carry at least one, and usually two parachutes with them.

While various experimental suits were invented in the '60s and '70s, the modern wingsuit is attributed to French skydiving legend Patrick de Gayardon, who invented and flew the first suit - and died demonstrating the technology in 1998. Since then, more jumpers have embraced wingsuiting as the ultimate adventure sport, and many have died from accidents, parachute failures, and unforeseen problems with jump trajectories.

Between 1982 and 2012, over 50 wingsuit jumpers were killed, and that number has only increased as less-experienced fliers try the sport. Here are some of the most prominent deaths in the sport, including well-known BASE jumpers like Dean Potter and Ian Flanders, stuntmen, and extreme athletes.
Photo: