Kiwi killed in wingsuiting crash

Last updated 09:16 31/03/2014
Dan Vicary
ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax NZ
CHAMPION: Former Invercargill man Dan Vicary, shows off his Wingsuit racing trophies.

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A New Zealander killed in a wingsuit accident in Switzerland was professional basejumper Dan Vicary.

Vicary, formerly of Invercargill and resident in Switzerland, represented New Zealand at the World Wingsuit Race in Brazil last year and was ranked No 2 in the world for the sport.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) said it was aware of the death of a New Zealander as a result of a wingsuit dive in Sengg, Switzerland.

MFAT staff in Geneva had been in touch with local authorities and next of kin had been notified, a spokeswoman said.

Vicary and two other jumpers smashed into an Alpine pasture moments after jumping from a helicopter over the Lutschental valley in the Bern canton, the International Business Times reported.

Vicary and a Frenchman were dead before rescue workers arrived. The third jumper, of unknown nationality, was seriously injured.

Wingsuit flying is a sport where participants dress in "birdman" suits and jump from cliffs as high as 2000 metres, gliding as fast as they can before parachuting. They cover a kilometre in about 30 seconds.

The World Wingsuit League posted a tribute naming the pair on its Facebook page.

"We are shocked and saddened to hear the news about the fatal wingsuit accident of Ludo Woerth and Dan Vicary. We want to express our deepest condolences for their families, friends and loved ones during these difficult times."

On Vicary's Facebook profile, he is described as a dedicated professional BASEjumper and skydiver.

"BASEjumping is a beautiful sport. It's a respectful sport - we are considerate of fellow jumpers and pilots and also the environment in which we fly. It's technical and, often, downright geeky. And it's taken me all around the world, meeting some of the most inspirational, motivated, brilliant and humble people on the planet."

 

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