BFL320 | 18.6.2017

Thomas Leone

from France32 years

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  • Date & Time: 18.6.2017, 12:30
  • Location: Belote, Annecy, France
  • Category: BASE Fatality
  • Object Type: Earth
  • Cause Of Death: Impact in terminal freefall
  • Clothing - Suit: Aura 1Expert Wingsuit by Squirrel
  • Canopy: Trango7 Cell - Vented by Atair Aerodynamics
  • Container: Hybrid2 Pin by Adrenalin BASE
  • Packing & Setup: Slider Up BOC Vertical
  • Weather: Hot with thermals producing
  • Possible Factors: Loss of speed-glide, Proximity flying

What do we believe happened?

This flight needs a good glide and an even better one if you wish to fly above the ridge as Thomas did on his last flight, At the beginning of the flight we had very good thermals so we flew high and very fast then my brother began to fly above the ridge and I stayed on the right hand side of him as I was flying lower than him and I was following him.
The ridge as you fly along gets flatter and flatter and at the end it's around a 3.5 glide ratio, one side of the ridge is east and one is west.
It seems that at the end of the ridge he did not have enough speed and height and when he decided to turn to the landing zone he may have caught some cooler descending air and he lost his flight characteristics very quick .
He knew that it was a full glide flight above the ridge because he had told me this prior to jumping, it's never a good idea to proximity fly without some speed in reserve. At that very moment when he turned he might have realised it was too late and even he knew to reserve some speed.
He was never taking too much risk usually on his flights but he made a wrong choice as it can happen to many of us at any time. He just did not leave enough safety margin
You lose reality of danger when you live your dreams, flying above the mountains we are always fragile
Parachute was found open at line stretch, slider up and front cells still folded suggesting the gear was opened on impact or a very low emergency low pull.
The jump was a two way they exited and flew the left line which is a highly advanced and technical line to be flying putting you at full glide and proximity flying the flight. He was found impacted shortly after.
Picture and information supplied by his brother.


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