The Great Summer of Skydiving

My northern hemisphere friends, I have some news. You might want to sit down. I’m really sorry to break this to you, but summer is over.

It was a really, really, really good summer though, amiright? Between Gary Connery landing his wingsuit without a parachute, then playing the Queen jumping into the Olympics, Jeb Corliss on Conan (and everywhere), the skydiving grannie heard ’round the world, the 138-way record, and Felix Baumgartner’s Stratos attempt, Skydive Carolina branded 2012 “The Great Summer of Skydiving” – and really, who would disagree? “Not since the early X Games … or Point Break has skydiving been so prominently featured in the public eye. Skydiving has been front and center this season and for those of us in the industry – it’s been awesome!!”

They put together a fantastic summary in their August newsletter, which you can – and totally should - read here (scroll down a bit to get to it).

News from Skydive Carolina

screengrab from http://e2.ma/message/wu6xc/8n5lx – click to read the full thing

Hmm, I wonder if this could have anything to do with USPA’s recent announcement that membership has now topped the previous record?

USPA announced a new membership record

Gary Connery attempts to land a wingsuit

Well it’s happening. The practice jumps have been made, the boxes are stacked, and it’s down to the FINAL preparations. UK Stuntman Gary Connery plans to land a wingsuit today, without the aid of a parachute.

Ever since wingsuits made it onto the skydiving and BASE jumping scene, the prospect of landing one has been the topic of countless conversations. A handful of people have gone as far as planning it. A fellow Icelander, Benni Töff, had a plan to land a specially equipped one on the side of glacier Snæfellsjökull. Benni died in an accident before he could try that. Jeb Corliss is reported to have a 3 million dollar plan for a contraption that would allow him to land. The late Patrick de Gayardon was once asked if he intended to land one, and is said to have replied “well shouldn’t we be able to take off before we land?”.

But today, Gary Connery is going to go for it and land his wingsuit in a giant pile of cardboard boxes. I can’t quite make up my mind as to weather the simplicity of it is ingenious or insane. Probably a bit of both is needed. Either way, we wish Gary the very best on his attempt today. I would say attempts, but I guess in this case you only get one shot.
May the wind be favorable, your line straight and true, and may the boxes crumple just right.