Wingsuit flyer beats aeroplane time in Ireland

June 15, 2008

A winged stuntman has completed a daring 17km unaided flight over the west coast of Ireland, beating local plane times. Swiss flyer Ueli ‘Sputnik’ Gegenschatz, donned a specially designed wingsuit and glided from above the Aran Islands over Galway Bay to Connemara regional airport.

The dare-devil completed the journey in 5.45mins beating the average flight time by more than a minute.“I was fortunate to have very strong tailwinds on the day which increased my chances of making the long distance. It enabled me to reach an average speed of 250km/hr (155mi/hr) and make the crossing. I was happy not to land in the ocean as I’ve heard the Irish waters are very cold.”

Gegenschatz jumped from a skydiving aircraft at an altitude of 4,500m high and helped by a strong tailwind flew over the Atlantic at an average speed of 250km/hr. An Aer Arann passenger plane, which travels the 17.6km route everyday with a top speed of 193km/hr (120mi/hr), took off from Inis Mor airstrip but landed at Inverin Airport, Connemara seven minutes later.

It is believed to be a new distance record for an unaided flight.

Gegenschatz has made a series of daring leaps in the winged-suit around the world including The Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps and Popocatepetl, the second highest peak in Mexico.

Ueli Gegenschatz

Ueli Gegenschatz wingsuit flying over Galway Bay, Ireland


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