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Gideon Yampolsky

Safe flight lines over terrain in Alps (not BASE)

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Can somebody recommend skydiving clubs in Alps area (Switzerland / France / Italy) which offer wingsuit jumps from helicopter and have well established flight lines over terrain at safe altitude ?

By “safe altitude” I mean that terrain has slope similar or steeper than WS descent angle so if I will exit at 3000 feet above and will fly in the right direction, I will continue to stay at the same altitude above terrain all the way down until deployment.

Edited by Gideon Yampolsky

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Hit up Douggs at Learn To BASE Jump (LTBJ). He and Sam Hardy are organizing a WS skydiving event in Lauterbrunnen next to the Eiger this summer. 

I think your thread title (Safe flight lines over terrain in the alps not BASE) has a few different contradictory elements. Learning from someone like Douggs will be a good starting point to learn what's out there.

 

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Once a year me and some buddies travel to Swiss for the "Eiger Scenic Tours", so yeah Heli to the top of Eiger mountain. Northside of Eiger is pretty vertical, and so you get out, and have like a normal skydive, right next to the wall of that Eiger and you end up deploying like in a normal skydive (so no BASE gear required). Check this out: https://www.facebook.com/dfu1963/videos/491228498102808/ 

Jumps are ~140 EUR each

For more info go here (Patrick Reuter is the organizer): https://www.wingsuit-fly.com/ 

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On 1/27/2020 at 11:29 AM, birdynamnam said:

Once a year me and some buddies travel to Swiss for the "Eiger Scenic Tours", so yeah Heli to the top of Eiger mountain. Northside of Eiger is pretty vertical, and so you get out, and have like a normal skydive, right next to the wall of that Eiger and you end up deploying like in a normal skydive (so no BASE gear required).

Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for.

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Note that these kind of jumps near terrain are 'a skydive' but when combined with impulsive decisions can quite quickly turn into proximity flights that do demand other gear choice and a more seasoned/trained background for making those (close to terrain) flights.

Especially on the Eiger jumps, some people tend to fly towards vs away from the mountain, and end up flying a lot lower than their choice of gear and experience should allow for.

Its an incredible visual, but always respect the safety and training standards from skydiving and don't put yourself lower or closer to terrain than you should be...

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(edited)

Related to this, does someone know of a source for WS BASE (w/ skydiving rig, freepacked BASE canopy) out of a helicopter? I'd love to do some terrain flying on the Eiger with my BASE canopy. I reached out to the guys in the links above but they said the agency they use for the ride to altitude does not permit terrain flying out of their aircraft.

Edited by 20kN

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(edited)
52 minutes ago, Bluhdow said:

It's probably safer to exit from the Eiger with proper gear.

Is BASE gear allowed out of aircraft there? In the USA it's not so the common substitution is freepacking BASE canopies in skydiving containers. The famous WS demo teams do that on their demo jumps when they are pulling sub-1k'. Mirage makes a W series skydiving container for training WS BASE from aircraft for those who need to remain legal.

Edited by 20kN

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I think it is, at least in some cases. 

The point is less about the gear, and more about the misconception that exiting an aircraft to fly terrain is somehow less dangerous than WS BASE. Yes, you eliminate the exit risks...but you create new risks that are equally (if not more) problematic.

I'm not sure what the motivations are for the OP to pursue a BASE style jump with sky gear, but if it has anything to do with the perceived safety increase of sky gear I think the whole plan is a bit misguided.

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(edited)
2 hours ago, Bluhdow said:

I think it is, at least in some cases. 

The point is less about the gear, and more about the misconception that exiting an aircraft to fly terrain is somehow less dangerous than WS BASE. Yes, you eliminate the exit risks...but you create new risks that are equally (if not more) problematic.

I'm not sure what the motivations are for the OP to pursue a BASE style jump with sky gear, but if it has anything to do with the perceived safety increase of sky gear I think the whole plan is a bit misguided.

I dont think he plans to proxy fly out of an airplane. He said in his post that he wants to stay a few thousand feet up. I was the one talking about terrain flights and I am aware that a terrain flight should be treated as a WS BASE jump regardless of the vehicle used to get there.

Edited by 20kN
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9 hours ago, Bluhdow said:

The point is less about the gear, and more about the misconception that exiting an aircraft to fly terrain is somehow less dangerous than WS BASE. Yes, you eliminate the exit risks...but you create new risks that are equally (if not more) problematic.

Agree. It seems to be something that should only be done by experienced WS BASE jumpers, and then also with a higher degree of caution than on their average BASE jump. 

Thinking about it now I feel like if you were able to isolate the number of proximity flights made from aircraft it would have a higher fatality rate than any other form of parachuting.

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7 hours ago, 20kN said:

I dont think he plans to proxy fly out of an airplane. He said in his post that he wants to stay a few thousand feet up. I was the one talking about terrain flights and I am aware that a terrain flight should be treated as a WS BASE jump regardless of the vehicle used to get there.

Yep - I do think the OP is planning on keeping their distance.

And glad to hear you say that - thanks for clarifying. I've lost 3 friends to jumps from a helicopter over mountain terrain in Europe. Which is probably why @mccordia & @Bluhdow jumped in with their warnings - it seems like every few years more people reach the point where they have enough skills to do these things...and many aren't aware of the lessons (and dangers) exposed by some exceptional (top of the game) pilots who've paid the ultimate price.

Hope you get in some great jumps when you get out there, and fly safe! 

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(edited)

Indeed my intention is to stay high above terrain.
I booked Eiger WS flights, which is considered skydiving rather than BASE.
Obviously there are still several dangerous situations which can develop, such as quick loss of altitude due to bad exit, or flying in wrong direction.
Are there other dangers which I should be aware of ?

Edited by Gideon Yampolsky

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4 hours ago, Gideon Yampolsky said:

Indeed my intention is to stay high above terrain.
I booked Eiger WS flights, which is considered skydiving rather than BASE.
Obviously there are still several dangerous situations which can develop, such as quick loss of altitude due to bad exit, or flying in wrong direction.
Are there other dangers which I should be aware of ?

Listen carefully when briefed as the Heli is a bit fragile here and there, door etc. We are sitting a bit cramped in there, so make sure all your handles are securely in place both when boarding the Heli and climbing out at exit. Briefing is thorough, and coach will plan exit point according to your skills. Enjoy the views and focus on that instead of doing multipoint flocks, you are there for the views.

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