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Anyone watch the 60 minute 'Bird Man" segment?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ok, so its about Wingsuit flying and not technically skiing but it did involve skiers, mountains, beautiful scenery and something I think we all wish we could do  ( I don't have the cajones for it)

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5377317n&tag=contentMain;cbsCarousel
Edited by Finndog - 10/12/09 at 10:09am
post #2 of 19
Yea, that was a pretty cool segment. My 8 year old son's jaw was on the floor. I told him to "come here and watch these guys fly" when it was on. He was making fun until he saw it..... and then there was silence.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
is anyone actually watching or skipping over this. Is well-worth the time to view.
post #4 of 19
Made my stomach jump just watching it on TV. Not sure i'd want my kid watching that and getting ideas.

Listened to Kit DesLauriers on her North Face Tour talk about being the first person (male or female) to ski the highest summit on all seven continents. My goodness. one of her last slides was her toddler daughter on a slackline.

There is always someone radder than thou!
post #5 of 19
I love the part where they said "If anything goes wrong it's your own fault" as if there is nothing but human error that can kill them.  I would think having a seam on the suit fail as they are buzzing the rocks, along with infinite other ways stuff can break, might really ruin your day.
post #6 of 19
Yeah, we watched it - in total amazement.

My wife and daughter couldn't understand why anyone would want to do something like that, then my 12 yo son interrupted and said he though it would be awesome to try someday.

It really hit me when they talked about Shane and how he was suppose to be there for the shoot.
post #7 of 19
 Finndog, I don't have the cajone's for that either.........seriously!
post #8 of 19

If you are worried because your kids think it is cool, then have them watch this segment on the death of Dwain Weston in a wing suit...hit a bridge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2360p24MbIA

post #9 of 19
I'd do it.. The training would be intense if you are brave enough... you only live once =] Ive always wanted to go skydiving, and when I saw this last summer on tv I was impressed. I think everybody wishes they could fly don't you agree?
post #10 of 19
I have had recurring dreams of flying almost nightly for the last 30 years but I still don't think I could do that. My dreams involve rising up from the ground though, not falling. Big difference!

I don't think you really train for that either, other than being a well rounded mountain person. You just do it. The first jump you ever do must be the ultimate, but you are probably to friggin' scared to enjoy it.
post #11 of 19
There was a report similar to the 60 Minutes spot a while back that included some film footage taken from a bridge and roadway that worked along one side of a steep canyon. I think it was in the Alps. The flyers would buzz the roadway that was cut into the side of the cliff. One unexpected puff of wind could take them right into the rock wall but they kept getting closer and closer. People were hanging out along road cheering them on as they flew by.
NTS, I must admit I do not understand the desire to take that level of risk. The risk-reward ratio seems off the scale against the participant.
post #12 of 19
It was probably the most amazing thing I 've ever seen. I can't believe how close they would fly to the rocks. Fearless squared for sure. Just watching them jump off the cliff was scary for me.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post
I don't think you really train for that either, other than being a well rounded mountain person. You just do it. The first jump you ever do must be the ultimate, but you are probably to friggin' scared to enjoy it.
You have to learn how to fly. Beginner skydivers usually take several jumps to learn how to fall in a stable position. After that you have to learn how to control flight on 3 axis (up/down [slower/faster], right/left and forward/back). Once you've learned how to do it skydiving in a regular suit, you can practice in a wing suit on a regular dive. No one in their right mind would wing fly close to the ground without going through these steps. O wait ... never mind that part about "in their right mind". That's already been decided the second they jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post



You have to learn how to fly. Beginner skydivers usually take several jumps to learn how to fall in a stable position. After that you have to learn how to control flight on 3 axis (up/down [slower/faster], right/left and forward/back). Once you've learned how to do it skydiving in a regular suit, you can practice in a wing suit on a regular dive. No one in their right mind would wing fly close to the ground without going through these steps. O wait ... never mind that part about "in their right mind". That's already been decided the second they jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.

That makes sense. So these guys all become accomplished skydivers first. I was thinking dry land training couldn't really prep you though.

So the progression would be.......Skydiving, Base Jumping and then 'Wingsuiting'?
post #15 of 19

Saw it with my wife and 5 year old son.  Wife was saying "that gives me butterflies just watching it"  while my son was saying "wow, cool, they are flying"!

I guess that's the difference between 35 and having a fear of heights and 5 and fearing nothing!  I thought it was very cool also, but don't think the reward is worth the risk.  I'll stick to "safe" sports like skiing 

Mike

post #16 of 19
You would not necessarily need to do base jumping. Other than jump planning and a very brief period of being close to the earth during freefall, there is not much skill development in base jumping.

Another option one can do for training is tunnel flying. I've got 20 hours of tunnel time. I can fly, but I don't have any real experience with a parachute.
post #17 of 19
Actually I think wingsuits were developed in a more traditional (airplane) skydiving context.  The earliest articles I remember seeing about them had a more geeky "maximizing lift" spin to them, with the ultimate ideal being a wing-suit-only landing.  I think the base jumpers picked up on them later, and shifted the emphasis to buzzing the terrain.
post #18 of 19
I watched the segment on line- I was a great portion to watch. It is funny as some of the footage looks identical to what is shot for SSD.

The only difference being the guys in the yellow suits are not flipping as much. A great piece to be shown to the public and I felt that JT fielded the questions really really well.

I also watched the footage of the guy who hit the bridge and that was a much different scenario. One could argue that the bridgeattempt was far more dangerous.

FY
post #19 of 19
The Birdmen segment was awesome and gave me goosebumps imagining myself jumping into the abyss.  However, the prior 60 Minutes segment, "A Blow to the Brain," reporting on the recent study showing high rates of brain damage/dementia in retired football players that suffered concussions during play gave me even bigger goosebumps.  Having suffered two concussions on the mountain in the past two ski seasons, my head ached just watching the segment.  I don't want to revive the "helmet threads" from last season , but I am a little nervous getting back into the trees this season, even with my replacement helmet strapped on tight. 

Here is the link to the segment.  You may not want to watch it if you have a weak stomach or are a tree skier.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/10/09/60minutes/main5371686.shtml


Do you think it was a coincidence that 60 Minutes showed the football and Birdmen segments back-to-back?  I don't think so.  In the Birdmen segment, where most viewers were probably thinking to themselves, "man, that is extremely dangerous; those guys must be crazy!", no injuries are depicted (other than the very brief mention of Shane Mconkey's death).  In contrast, in the football segment, a sport where most people disregard the risk of injury because football is part of our culture, numerous head collisions (some involving kids) and their horrible consequences are graphically displayed.  Notice too how in the Birdmen segment, the participants exclaim that they are having the most fun in the world.  You do not see any of that reverence for the sport in the football segment. 

This reminds me of the theme in my favorite ski movie, Steep.

"What's worse - a car accident or falling off a mountain?  I think a car accident is worse.  At least when they are falling off the mountain, they love what they are doing."  Doug Coombs, Steep.        
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