A man from Brazil has become a viral sensation after jumping off a balcony wearing a parachute he bought online.
The video off the stunt, which was shared on social media, has been viewed almost two million times. “This man is equal parts idiot and my hero,” says one social media user. In the video, the man is seen wearing shorts and a T-shirt and standing on the ledge of a balcony strapped into a parachute. In the background, a woman can be heard presumably crying and pleading with him to not jump. After counting to three, the man jumps from the ledge. He apparently lands safely in the bushes.
The man may have been attempting a BASE jump, which is a parachuting jump from a fixed object like a tower or cliff.
BASE is an acronym for building, antenna, span, and Earth. BASE jumps are usually practiced at altitudes of under 2,000 feet, but over 200 feet. A BASE jumper has to ensure safety margins. In BASE jumping, the parachute must open quickly at lower airspeeds. A bad jump may result in loss of control, which can be hard to correct in the short fall to the ground. The most serious complications are when the chute opens backward, also known as an off heading opening.
This is one of the leading causes of injuries and death among skydivers.
One social media user observed that the man executed a “hop and pop” jump a common skydiving maneuver. According to the FAA, “With a minimum parachute opening altitude of 2,000 feet above the ground (and most parachutists open much higher), parachutes are nearly always opened 800 feet or more above the traffic pattern altitude for any airport. Descending slowly and easy to visually acquire, parachutists and pilots have a shared responsibility to see and avoid each other.”
“Often, procedures can be implemented that reduce the potential for parachutists and pilots in a traffic pattern to be in proximity.”
Another social media user, who described himself as a military paratrooper, commented, “analyzing the video, I can affirm that he knew exactly what he was going to do.” Yet another user mentioned, “the closed curve that he makes at the end of the video so he does not fall in the neighboring parking lot makes it clear that the guy is skilled.”
According to an experienced parachute rigger and skydiving instructor, “Standard jump altitude is 12,000 feet AGL – this is one turn of the standard parachutist’s altimeter. This height provides 1 minute of freefall, is within reach of a Cessna with a decent engine and does not require supplementary oxygen. For most places, this means an operating altitude between 12,000 and 15,000 feet MSL.” In 1912, Franz Reichelt, a tailor, plunged from the Eiffel Tower wearing a coat parachute that he had created.
He died after hitting the ground.
It was his first parachuting attempt, which he had originally planned to test with a dummy. On April 21, 2014, Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet set a Guinness World Record for Highest BASE Jump after jumping from a 2,716-foot tall building, the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai.