Not for the Faint-HeartedMarch 4, 2008
Have you ever thought of Wingsuit Flying? I would have thought you’d have to be fairly deranged to do this – but apparently not! Quite normal people are becoming seriously hooked on this seriously extreme sport. On the 29th February 2008 the Washington Times ran a story on ‘the Gray Brothers’ as they like to be called.
“We’ve been bitten by this bug,” Mr. Gray said. “It’s our passion now.”
Scott and his brother, Chris, emulate Icarus although hopefully they have also learned from the lesson of Icarus and Daedulus. Fortunately they do not have to worry about their wings being melted by the sun as their suits are made from a specially designed fabric that is sewn between the legs and under the arms to allow divers to glide. The suit, when zipped up, makes the divers resemble a bat or a flying squirrel. What was once a 120 mph vertical free fall in a traditional sky dive now becomes a 30 mph diagonal glide, which allows a wingsuit pilot to cover up to six miles. Wingsuit flying allows skydivers to be able to control their flight in air and the Gray brothers are teaching students with more than 200 jumps how to use the suits.
The Brothers Gray have established themselves at Skydive Orange, in Orange, Virginia where they have so far trained more than 30 divers and, so great is there love of this sport, they are hoping to build a wingsuit community.
The lessons show you how to jump out of the plane into the frigid air then spread your “wings,” slowing the downward velocity to an easy glide.
“Traditional skydiving wasn’t enough for Mr. Gray, a Maryland man who served as a paratrooper in the military. He needed to fly.”
WashingtonTimes 29.03.08 |Michael Farr