Photo: Noah Bahnson
Skydive Dubai just posted a video of spectacular dynamic flying with and without wingsuit from Burj Khalifa, Dubai. It was an achievement only possible due to years and years of a life as professional freeflyers in skydiving. See Soulflyers do dynamic flying from Burj Khalifa
Last summer the top of Jungfrau was jumped with a wingsuit by Patrick Kerber. The flight itself was not done as radical as one often see online, but the climb up was as impressive as the flight down. They call it para-alpinism. The art of ascending the mountains and using a wingsuit to get safely down. See Patrick Gerber set new World Record from Jungfrau
This is two directions in the use of human flight that both are physically harder and safer than the classic proximity flying. Do we see the early signs of a change in direction in human flight?
In 2005 Loic-Jean Albert introduced the world to proximity flying. At that time him and Julian Boule, who also had a part in the latest Burj Khalifa video, had already done it for a few years. They were a game changer in basejumping and their way of using a wingsuit reached the big crowds on social medias. It was the thing to get into for us all, and it gave an extreme sensation of speed as you bussed down a mountain only a few meters above the ground. And people loved it. Jeb Corliss got 26 million hits on youtube with ”Grinding the Crack”. Now, years later, we are discussing the down side of proximity flying. There are way to many accidents, and it takes away the fun.
While this discussion are ongoing the two above diections are emerging. But they require so much more than the classic proximity flying. Its not enough be bold. When I see the videos of Laurent Fraat, Ellen Brennan and Rock Malnuit I know that this is something extra. They need the high wingsuit skills, but at the same time being an alpinist. It may require so much hard work they will have to choose not to hang out on drop zones with the people from the other direction; the people behind the dynamic flights from Burj Khalifa. What I also believe, is that people who choose to keep on going with the hard core classic proximity flying is defenitely going to have fun, but they will never be as highly regarded as the best paraalpinists and the dynamic flyers. The new directions represent a safer, more spectacular and more demanding future of human flight. Exiting times to come!