Monday, June 15, 2009

Worst flight ever...

Neil Amonson posted a video (with a short story) on Vimeo called "Turbulent Wingsuit BASE, worst flight ever".
While some would concider a jump like this the best jump of their life (in terms of the experience), Niel had some critical notes on his own flying:

Action starts around 1:34. Had a very strange experience recently. About 3 seconds into my flight I almost got flipped on my back and continued to get buffeted by "turbulence" for a large portion of the flight. I put turbulence in parenthesis because I'm not sure what exactly caused it, either environmental conditions or the pilot(me). A similar thing happened two weeks ago from the same cliff with another experienced jumper. It was not super windy, though conditions where changing at the time I jumped with the winds having switched about 180 degrees in the past 10 minutes. Who knows, perhaps I was too stiff as I was trying some different techniques and perhaps need to relax more. I did notice that towards the end of the flight it looks like I have become slightly head high, but not sure if this is just an illusion. Next flight went much better going back to the basics and letting the suit fly itself. Also the first jump with the foot mount cam, nice angle, really like the view. Will be fun to get a really solid flight on video from this view.

And here is the video!

Check it out!

WWWN speculative answer:
Seeing the head hanging beneath the body, suggest a bit overdoing the de-arching on the upper body. Causing a slighlty head-high position, and instability issues due to a slight stall. Just straigtening the body more, and letting the suit fly will probably do the trick. Though weather/enviroment issues with turbulence could very well be the cause. No experience in that arena.

1 comment:

  1. If wind was significant, and you were on lee-ward side of the hill/mountain, resulting turbulence and wind shear could indeed be rather strong. Also, that could be further combined with hot rising air (thermals) from the hot cliff (if facing the sun), resulting in even more turbulence.
    My conclusions are comming from gliding. Gliding on a lee wave can sometimes get you very high (6-7000 m), but also turbulence before lee wave can sometimes be so strong that it can brake glider in mid air.