Mirko Schmidt

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Over the weekend we lost one of our closest brothers, Mirko Schmidt while proximity flying.

A lot of people have been asking what happened, so in an attempt to stop inaccuracies, please find below an account of the tragic incident from Robi, along with a personal message of condolence.


What we had planned:

An evening jump from a cliff (Chamonix area).
8 jumpers on the hike / jump.
On the way up we discussed the possible lines we could fly.
Half way up, we stopped to check the options, and decided which line each of us would fly.

Three of us decided to fly the far left line over the paragliding start area. A camera was set up with my wife and Edo's girlfriend Maja at this position.

Some of the jumpers decided to also fly the left line, but after the black ridge, turn right and fly some tree lines or gorges (This is a steeper line which allows for some nice terrain flying).

After two hours we reached the exit point, where the weather conditions were great. No wind, just a light breeze and partially sunny.

We all got geared up and ready to jump, during which time Mirko mentioned that he was tired.

He was quiet, but this was more than likely due to the long hike we had made.

Despite this, he was very positive about the jump, gearing up quickly and in a happy manner – just being typical Mirko.

What we saw (facts):

From the exit point

Mirko jumped as the last jumper of a 3 way group.
His exit was good, leaving a longer separation between him and the jumper before him – this was to allow him to have nice clean exit in front of him.

His start was a bit slow, but nothing out of the ordinary, and gave us no cause for concern.

Mirko flew with decent speed until he disappeared from view behind the pillar on the left, just like all the other flyers of the 3 way group had done.

What the girls saw from the ground:

They saw the 3 way coming and at one point the last flyer turned to the right. They saw the flyer disappear behind the ridge.

After the first and second jumpers canopies opened, Mirko, nor his canopy could be seen.

After we landed we realized that Mirko was missing. Heli search / rescue was informed and the helicopter came very quickly to begin a search.

After a solid hour, they couldn't find him, so a ground search was started, organized by the Mountain police. They worked through the night, but still could not find Mirko.

At first light the next morning, the helicopter was again used to search from the air. They found his body and recovered him.

Mirko was found high up in the gorge saddle, before the tree line.

His canopy had been deployed, but the toggles were on the risers. The shrivel was pulled on the bridle, the lines were out of the tail pocket and the slider was down to the risers, indicating that the canopy was not out due to the impact, but that Mirko had attempted to deploy.

The area he was found in was impossible to see from the exit point.

The doctors confirmed he died from massive head trauma as a result of impacting with the wall at speed.

Although Mirko was wearing a camera, it was not found or recovered.

What we believe happened:

The left line requires a quick decision and reaction after turning at the pillar as the black ridge stands there like a fence.

If a jumper decides that he can’t make it over the ridge, they must immediately make a right turn to avoid being over the trap.

It is possible that Mirko found himself lower than expected and took too long to decide if he could make it over the ridge or not.

By the time he had made the decision, his ability to fly the alternate line had gone and he would have found himself too close to the ground and wall, impacting during an attempted deployment.


Mirko, our Luftwaffe comrade.

Every one of us cherish every moment we have spent with you.

You had great energy, great spirit, amazing skill, and a kind generous soul.

Eventually time will help ease the pain, but you will never, ever be forgotten, nor will we ever truly get over you not being here anymore.

Now you have the best wings any person can have and we know that you are at peace.

We will miss you forever.

Fly free in the eternal blue skies.

Our love is with you always.

Robi, JNO, Jarno, Macca, everyone at Phoenix Fly, Adrenalin BASE, Team Need 4 Speed and
all your brothers and sisters around the world.

Phoenix Fly - High performance wingsuits for skydiving and BASE
Performance Designs - Simply brilliant canopies

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