I feel like I had to post this video for some reason. Probably because over the course of the last four days I have been sent multiple emails, IMs, facebook messages, twitter messages, post-it notes and singing telegrams all asking me if I’ve done this before.
No, I have nowhere near the skills and/or cajones necessary to take up Proximity Flying. I own and fly a wingsuit, but only out of planes. I don’t BASE jump (parachute from fixed objects), and although I think I’d absolutely love it, I’m keeping myself away from BASE because I know I have an addictive personality.
However, I do have tremendous respect and admiration for Loic Jean Albert, the tall skinny French dude in the video who flies within feet of rock ledges while roaring by at 120mph. This guy is one of the pioneers of wingsuit flight, so he is one of only a handful of people who have the skillset necessary to pull off successful flights in such close proximity to solid objects. When flying a wingsuit, small body movements translate into large changes in your flight pattern. In the sky or to a lesser extent flying away from a cliff, it’s not the end of the world if you have some side-to-side flutter or you can’t control your exact glide ratio. Flying within feet of fixed objects and small inconsistencies like that could prove to be fatal… but MAN does it make for some sick footage!
I am reminded of a quote, but can’t recall who said it: “Take risks not to escape life, but to keep life from escaping.”
These guys are definitely taking risks, but they are definitely living life to the max and not letting life escape them. Have fun out there and be safe, but don’t forget to take risks every once in a while!