American daredevil Jeb Corliss, wearing his wing suit, hurtled through the archway of the Tianmen mountain at 75mph after jumping from a helicopter at altitude 6,000 feet above the ground during an event sponsored by Red Bull in Zhangjiajie in south China’s Hunan province, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011.
The stuntman’s wing suit, which has thin membranes between the limbs and torso, enabled the 35-year-old to glide through the air while losing altitude gradually instead of plummeting directly towards Earth.
Corliss was able to travel for two-thirds of a mile – and through the 4,265ft mountain’s natural archway – before releasing his parachute and descending gently to the ground. The arch measures less than 100ft across, leaving the stuntman with little room for error.
Corliss, whose previous stunts include jumping from the Eiffel Tower and flowing through a waterfall in the Swiss Alps, has become the first wing suit stuntman to fly in China. Earlier in the week, he carried out a test flight from the top of the mountain and described conditions as ‘perfect’.
But his first attempt to fly through the Tianmen arch yesterday afternoon had to be abandoned after smoke canisters attached to his ankles developed mechanical problems, forcing him to abandon the attempt in mid-flight and requiring him to make a detour to avoid slamming into the side of the cliff face.
After completing the second, successful jump, which was broadcast on China’s television networks, the Californian daredevil said: ‘That was one of the greatest wingsuit flights of my entire life.
‘Thank you China, that was amazing. I love it, oh my God.’