David Pescovitz at 8:59 am Tue, May 29, 2012
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Last week, Gary Connery, wearing a wingsuit, jumped from a helicopter at an altitude of 2,400 feet and landed safely. "Stuntman Takes a Superhero Plunge" (New York Times)
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.
Eurovision 2013: An American in London
The technology that links taxonomy and Star Trek
Correction: he jumped from “2,400 feet” not 3,500 feet.
Correct. I misheard her.
I hate to be that guy, but: title says 3,400, news footage says 2,400.
I don’t think that makes him any less crazy, though.
When does a wingsuit become a parachute? What about if he used a (poor) parachute to slow down to 80 mph? Would that not count?
The first time I saw this video I thought those were like foam bricks/blocks. Boxes? I’ll be damned if I want to run into the corner of a cardboard box doing 80mph…
Besides when does free falling into an airbag become the same as falling into a pile of boxes?
The BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-18160632 has some bird’s-eye footage although it looks as though it’s UK-only…
Was this written by the same person that brought us Fanless 80mm cpu fan article?
sans parachute != he HAD a parachute on him.
Yes, I suppose I could have said “sans deployed parachute.” I’m really sorry that I confused you and made you think that he wasn’t wearing a parachute at all. I can tell that for you, that’s really the most important part of the story. You are absolutely correct. He was wearing a parachuter but he didn’t deploy it. My deepest sincere apologies.
I’m sure 2,400 feet is only a rough estimate. Also, I assume that distance is vertical and doesn’t count the horizontal distance he traveled in his wingsuit. Also, a wingsuit might be considered a type of parachute, and also I wouldn’t consider that landing safe, and also he might have sustained internal injuries that aren’t yet apparent.
How about: Man skydives for a total delta of approximately 2,400 vertical feet without deploying a conventional parachute and lands without apparent adverse medical consequence?
I think the real risk factor isn’t being injured at the landing, but not being able to hit the landing zone. Failsafe parachute for aborting the mission is perfectly understandable, IMO.
I’ve had very detailed arguments about some news reports saying “without using a parachute”, I think we settled on “without deploying a parachute”
In all fairness though he didn’t USE his parachute. He just wore it.
But that’s the problem, ‘use’ can be taken a few different ways, did he ‘use’ the parachute if he wore it in case of emergencies?
Safely? I dunno, maybe change that to “lands without injury.”
I agree, I can’t think of a single place on earth that has a natural soft landing spot like this giant airbag made of boxes. I organize people’s homes as side work. I do it has cheap and neat as I can. I save them money by buying a lot of lidded file boxes from Costco. Each box has a stacking weight of 350 lbs. Yep, a giant airbag.
I can’t think of a single place on earth that has a natural soft landing spot like this
Cranberry bogs, peat bogs, etc.
The only thing this proves is that the myth about ninja kite flying might not be busted
Of course, the real art there was sneaking into the enemy’s castle the night before, to set up all the cardboard boxes.
Ve haff Sqvirrel. Moose ees just a matter ov tiyme.
I would jump from 2,400 feet even without a wingsuit.
Just make my stack of boxes about 2,390 feet high.
man, you daredevil!!! 10 feet! I’d be too scared. Mine would have to be 2399
instead of that crappy news video you should have posted this one http://youtu.be/riK2350eemM… you know, where you get it to see it from the camera in the air
BB skeptics are showing they are just a bunch of party poopers on this one. “Wet blanket much?”
The team’s video, POV from the copter:
What makes this BREAKING NEWS if no bones were snapped?
Seriously: cardboard boxes? Cardboard boxes? I thought that those were large blocks of foam donated by somebody, but was shocked to hear what it was he actually landed on. Imagine what it would feel like to just jump off your couch onto a pile of assembled boxes, and then add a heaping helping of velocity to it. Cardboard road rash, and corners. All those corners. Yikes!
Although I agree that I wouldn’t want to jump into boxes, I imagine foam would just launch him back into the air like a giant trampoline.
I want to know how they got all those boxes assembled and stacked up. And what happens afterwards? Giant box-maze?
If you’d read the article, you’d have learned that friends and volunteers helped set them up.
The last 20 seconds or so, I was really hoping he’d burst through the stack of boxes in a big red suit, yelling “Oh yeah!”
“As God is my witness, I thought stuntmen could fly.”
A pile of cardboard boxes is a traditional substitute for an airbag among budget-minded aspiring stunt men. For real thrills, wear Nomex and set the front of the box pile on fire before you jump (into the back of the pile).
Big audience favorite at state fairs and theme parks.
(And, yeah, it can hurt a bit. Some stunt work does.)
Damn- I was hoping to see him pull up, stall at the last moment, and drop to his feet. The minecraft safety wall was kinda disappointing. The wingsuit video of flying down alpine slopes or through a Chinese mountain are much more interesting.
Man in a flying suit lands safely in a specially prepared landing area.
I’m sure the altitude was read off of the copter’s altimeter…so it was probably the height at which he exited the aircraft rather than distance flown. I must admit, though I was surprised to hear the talking head use MPH rather than KPH
Britain uses MPH. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_per_hour
KPH? This isn’t bloody France.
But what implications does this have for wingsuit combat?
Combine this with the tiny new commercial space craft and we can begin to see the future of being an astronaut. It ain’t the romantic job it once was.
Seriously though, ahem, the next step here is airbags. One could learn to land by popping the bags at the last second and rolling minimally to a standing run while you shed your bags. Stealthy! Eventually this will seem routine.
You’d need re-deployable airbags because like the Mars Landers, you’d BOING back up a bunch of times until you could just roll
I know the gentleman who designed the Mars airbag system; he has dozens of aerospace patents but he’s not in Wikipedia… because he’s been officially deemed “insufficiently notable.”
Tell him to stop being such a lazy bastard and go marry a Kardashian.
For the extra boing factor??? Nice.
Oh, thanks, Antinous, now I have to explain to my cow-orkers why I’m laughing out loud when I’m supposed to be talking to Cisco hardware support. Everybody knows those guys aren’t funny!
Haha, cow-workers. Your comment, back atcha.
“Insane individual dressed as a flying squirrel leaps from perfectly good helicopter, fails to use perfectly good parachute he’s wearing, and is saved by an act of god (and a whole bunch of cardboard boxes).” There – fixed that for you. :-)
Kids: try this at home! Cardboard boxes are as good as a parachute and they also can be turned on their sides to make Duplicator machines.
In one of the paragliding mags several years ago i read a story about an old (50′s era) Soviet design for a flying suit for deploying paratroopers. The idea being that they could jump a long distance from the target and glide the rest of the way to avoid their plane being detected.
It wasn’t certain if it had ever been tested.
The rocking that he’s doing at :28 reminds me of how geese come into land – they seem to lock their wings wide and rock from side to side to spill the air, and that brings them down slower and at a steeper angle than their maximum glide. It seems to be a way to execute a controlled stall.
Clever bastards, those Geese.
How has Noone broken into a chorus of “he jumped from 40,000 feet without a parachute”???
Do it if you dare,
Leaping from the sky,
Hurling through the air,
See the earth below,
Soon to make a crater,
I’m off to meet my maker
Doesn’t this seem like one of those situations where a backup parachute has no meaning until one has already hit the ground? Which would make the world’s most awesome YouTube video.
I would want to land backwards. I dislike having my neck broken by head on impacts.