Video records wingsuit flyer's fatal fall

Xu Qing
Woman's body found in dense forest a week after she had jumped from a helicopter at 2,500 meters during a photoshoot in the Zhangjiajie scenic area in central China.
Xu Qing
Edited by Hu Jun.

A video of the fatal skydive of a female wingsuit pilot was released on Tuesday, the day after her body was found in a central China scenic area.

Her body was found nearly a week after she plunged from a helicopter during a film shoot in Zhangjiajie, the Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park in southern Hunan Province confirmed on Monday evening, adding that her parachute had failed to open.

Rescuers rushed to the scene after local villagers reported having seen a body from a distance in an unfrequented dense forest in the scenic area.

The body was confirmed as the pilot who had gone missing on May 12.

It was found at an altitude of 900 meters, a drop of about 1,600 meters from the helicopter.

The video shows she deviated from her planned route and lost contact just 19 seconds after 11:19am last Tuesday, when she and a photographer, jumped from a helicopter flying at an altitude of 2,500 meters. The photographer, realizing she was on the wrong path, waved to her to open her parachute. The photographer deviated from the route and landed safely.

The woman dropped for several hundred meters before she was out of sight of both photographer and camera.

The 23-year-old is said to have been professionally trained abroad and had completed hundreds of wingsuit flights and skydives.

She did not have a mobile phone, GPS or other device with her during the flight, according to sources from the Zhangjiajie Tianmenshan Scenic Area.

Earlier search and rescue efforts had been hampered by the complex terrain and low visibility caused by persistent rain.

Wingsuit flying is a sport which involves participants gliding through the air wearing a special suit with fabric under the arms and legs to slow the rate of descent. Much like skydiving, the flight ends with the deployment of a parachute.

With its steep mountains and fantastic views, Zhangjiajie is a popular destination for wingsuit flyers.

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