Wingsuit fliers stage spectacular entry into plane mid-air over Alps
Two French wingsuit fliers pulled off a breathtaking stunt over the Alps when they jumped from a mountain and then landed on board a light aeroplane in mid-air.
Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet took more than 100 practice flights to perfect the hazardous stunt with pilot Philippe Bouvier and co-ordinator and navigator Yves Rossy.
A first attempt had to be abandoned but eventually conditions were deemed perfect. The fliers prepared themselves at the top of Switzerland’s Jungfrau mountain and jumped off at Rossy’s command.
As the plane dived down the mountain the two fliers glided into position and Reffet eventually flipped himself inside the open cabin door before Fugen performed the same feat.
Both landed awkwardly but safely before screaming with joy and hugging each other in celebration as the plane’s crew congratulated them.
They had bettered the famous stunt of wingsuit pioneer Patrick de Gayardon, who once jumped from a plane before re-entering it. Gayardon was killed in a stunt in 1998 over Hawaii.
Video from one of the plane’s cameras showed it could all have ended in disaster for Fugen and Reffet; in an earlier attempt the fliers fell short of their target, hitting the doorframe before dropping away to glide safely back to earth.
© 2017 Reuters