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The Icarus Project: Sky Flier Dean S. Potter

On a sunny afternoon in mid-August, Dean Potter stepped onto a tongue of rock just below the summit of Switzerland’s Eiger and jumped off. At first he plunged toward a ledge 600 feet below, then air gathered in his wingsuit, his forward trajectory kicked in, and he began to fly.

Speeding three feet ahead for every one he dropped, Potter, 37, watched as ice slopes gave way to talus, then to fields, then cabins, then houses, restaurants, and eventually a town, which he veered away from to avoid the power lines. By the time he pulled his chute and drifted to earth, Potter had spent two minutes and 50 seconds in flight. It was the longest BASE jump ever, covering some 9,000 vertical feet and nearly four miles. Read the story and watch the video >>

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Three weeks ago we announced the 2009 Adventurers of the Yearselected
for their extraordinary achievements in exploration, conservation,
action sports, and humanitarian work. Now, for the first time ever, you
can vote for the Readers' Choice Adventurer of the Year. To help you
get to know them, we are going to highlight a different adventurer
daily. You can only vote once, so make sure to check out each
adventurers' profilevideo, and photo gallery, before firing up our voting machine.

Comments

  1. Allogarage
    December 1, 2009, 11:06 am

    Dean Potter is incredible. 9000 vertical feet is simply awesome. Thanks for sharing the video of this exploit.

  2. Mich Andrews
    December 3, 2009, 5:59 am

    He’s a gutsy chap that’s for sure. This is more adventurous to me and he get my vote.

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    January 11, 2010, 3:56 pm

    He is too much adventurous for me and my wife! When we watched the video she closed her yeas:) We are not adventurous persons. The biggest extreme we do is ski once a year) We prefer quiet and measured vacation in NY, sleeping in nice hotels, eating in nice restaurants and simply interesting attractions:) Anyway, thanks for the post!

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    February 3, 2010, 9:48 pm

    when is this on natgeo tv????????????????????????????????????????????

  6. JimmyTH
    February 4, 2010, 12:27 pm

    We saw a show about a bunch of guys doing this falling/flying somewhere in Portugal and it was terrifying and fascinating to see. One of those things you just can’t comprehend learning, because obviously you can’t start out by jumping off a cliff. Everybody who does this must be a very experienced skydiver and already have the basics of the system. Even so, what they do is just too terrible to watch, and at the same time you’d really like to do that yourself. Looks like the greatest fun ever.

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