Monday, February 2, 2009

Patrick de Gayardon - the true pioneer..

The wingsuit channel on Vimeo updated today with a nice archival video on wingsuit flying. Though not online through official means, this 'bootlegged' film is definately worth watching.

Its a (French) documantary on Patrick de Gayardon.

For those who dont know who Patrick was. In the long line of wingsuit pioneers, he was one of the first to design and safely use ram-air technology and a detachable release system on the wings. He jumped the wingsuit system for many years, and did some amazing jumps flying his wingsuit all over the world, even into the grand canyon and back into an airplane (a feat nobody has been able to repeat up, even up to this very day). Patrick was a gifted person in terms of skills, and won many awards and prizes in his skydiving career, next to also pioneering (inventing) the sport of Skysurfing. Patrick sadly died in 1998 after a rigging error caused a malfunction on his canopy.

His wingsuit design is what influenced todays wingsuits. And its safe to say current wingsuit technology wouldnt be where its at, if it wasnt for the innovations Patrick brought to the sport.

Though French might not be your language, I highly recommend watching this video to learn a bit about who this man was. Every wingsuit jump we make these days is a celebration of his life...

For a bit more details information, check out this wonderfull tribute written by other famous wingsuit pioneer Adrian Nicholas.

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