Jeb Corliss, an American wingsuit daredevil, flew through a ten-foot gap in a mountain at 100 miles per hour and lived to tell about it. The jump occurred at Mount Jianglang in the Zhejiang Province of China, which has now been nicknamed “Flying Dagger.”
The stunt was filmed on Saturday from several angles as Corliss jumped from a helicopter into the narrowest point of the mountain. The mountain consists of three limestone and conglomerate peaks. Corliss’ gap was between two of the peaks and was about 900 feet long with a number of turns. From the landing site the peaks are about 870 feet high. After flying the gap he deployed his parachute and landed safely on the other side.
Corliss, 37, was going approximately 100 miles per hour when he entered the fissure. He covered the length of three football fields in roughly five seconds. At the widest the walls of the gap were sixty-feet apart. For most of the crevasse the width was only about twenty-five feet.
He later posted a Facebook status about the jump saying: I had a 15 second canopy ride and just made it to the beginning of the landing zone. I have been jumping for over 15 years and I have never done anything more committing and technical in my life. I am so happy.
Meanwhile on September 27, 2013, an Idaho man was killed during a parachute training exercise, according to the Weather Channel (http://www.weather.com/news/idaho-smokejumper-killed-parachuting-accident-20130930). Mark T. Urban, 40, was a smokejumper for the Bureau of Land Management.
Smokejumpers are firefighters who use “high-performance aircraft and parachutes … to be first on the scene when fires occur in remote areas” . They use wildland fire suppression techniques such as raking fire lanes to stop a fire quickly after ignition.
Smokejumpers working for the BLM are required to jump at least once every two weeks during fire season. Urban was a proficient parachuter, having done jumps for more than 10 years without an accident. On the whole, smokejumpers have a great safety record over their 70 year history.
The accident Friday was part of a routine training exercise. No official report has been released but several details are known. Urban was the second jumper out of the plane. He was supposed to land in a land area similar to an area where a wildfire would start. At some point, something went wrong with the deployment of his parachture. It is not known at this time what the problem was.
Urban is survived by his wife and parents. According to Smokejumpers.com, a professional organization’s webiste, a memorial service will be held October 4th.
Wingsuiter Jeb Corliss flies through 10ft gap in cliff at 100mph in China
Jeb Corliss Lands ‘Flying Dagger’ Jump: Video