Stöckl1, J. Sieker2, A. Westman3,4, O. Mei-Dan5
1 Praxis für Physiotherapie Stöckl, Unterwössen, Germany
2 San Diego School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, California
3 Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Sweden
4 Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery, Centre for Disaster Medicine, Umeå University, Sweden
5 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado
Background. Fixed object parachuting, commonly known as BASE (Building, Antenna, Span, Earth) Jumping, was revolutionized by the introduction of wingsuits in the 1990s. Wingsuit BASE Jumping (WSBJ) has since surged both in overall popularity, and more recently, in its contribution to the rising rate of BASE fatalities. Risks associated with WSBJ and its position within the broader BASE community have been explored in previ- ous work. However, the practical considerations of a nominal wingsuit flight, the aero- dynamic underpinnings of WSBJ, and discussions regarding the pilot’s decision-making processes and in-flight goals are nearly absent from the current literature. Methods. This expert opinion article was developed through years of experience in the BASE environment and analysis of in-flight altimetry and glide data from both the authors and through contributors in the wingsuit BASE community. Previous authors’ rigorous investigations and thorough work on safe, high-performance WSBJ are also discussed. This concept article takes a very practical approach to WSBJ, walking through the optimal procedure for a safe jump from exit to parachute deployment. Conclusions. Strong conceptual foundation, focus on technique, lessons from relevant accidents, and emergency planning all contribute to a successful wingsuit BASE jump.
KEY WORDS: Wingsuit, BASE, jumping, proximity, parachutist