Hungarian wingsuit BASE jumper Viktor Kovats died yesterday in China after hitting the mountain on his first qualifying run for the Red Bull World Wingsuit League Grand Prix Finals. Search and rescue teams located Kovats’ body in mountainous, tree-covered terrain several hours after the initial accident. Kovats was an experienced jumper and an avid wingsuit flyer. The exact cause of the incident is not known; news reports cite a gust of wind or technical errors as possible factors.
This incident, the last in a long string of proximity fatalities of late, is prompting a strong response and discussion in the proximity-flying community. On their Facebook page, the World Wingsuit League (WWL) states that they will conduct a thorough review of the events leading up to this accident and adopt appropriate changes for future competition.
The ProBASE World Cup has also brought attention to the topic on their Facebook page by raising the issue of safety, urging organizers to take a look at procedures at high profile events. ProBASE suggest look ing at items like mandatory rescue helicopters, professional rescue teams and other safety measures in place to be implemented at all professional wingsuiting events. Visit the ProBASE World Cup Facebook page to join the discussion.