Major update as of 6th September in regards to previous information from another jumper that was there
“Bart had a good push and normal start. He flew straight out off the exit for four seconds and then banked to the left in an attempt to split the tree gate formed by the lone tree on the pillar to the left and the wall. It appears that during the turn he lost just a little bit too much speed and altitude which caused him to not clear the pillar by a very narrow margin. These facts were discovered after recovering Bart's Gopro from the hillside below the exit.
Good bye Bart my friend, you are loved by many.”
Bart was an experienced Wingsuit Pilot and Wingsuit Base jumper. He had over 1000 BASE jumps and more than 1000 skydives. He had been base jumping for over 10 years. He was considered a responsible jumper and liked by many.
He had just spent a couple of weeks jumping in the Brento-Lake Garda region, before coming to Switzerland. He was in the third or fourth week of a wingsuit Base trip. He was jumping an Aura 3 which he purchased this year.
He arrived at Walenstadt Monday evening, did a total of 6 jumps from Sputnik on Tuesday and Wednesday. Bart had jumped at Walenstadt on previous trips.
Facts: It was Bart’s first jump on fatal attraction.. He had jumped “less than fatal” a few times, which has a similar exit profile (on a previous trip to Walenstadt). He asked to go jump “Fatal Attraction” as he wanted to check it out.
Bart was briefed on the exit, angles, ledges and direction of push. He jumped last in a group of three at approximately 2.15pm. First two jumpers landed in the lz and saw Bart’s canopy flying out super high above the barn. The canopy seemed to be drifting right and went out of view. A Jumper on the Sputnik Exit saw the canopy, pointed it out to another jumper, before they exited and said “watch out for that canopy”.. then the canopy continued drifting right and disappeared into the trees. Bart was jumping an Aura3, CRUX and Hay duke.
I was solo on another exit(high trench). I received info that a Heli had been called to look for Bart after a suspected panic pitch. Helicopter had not left the airport and I was clear to jump. I flew a high line over the last seen location.. saw his canopy on the side of a ridge.. flared, deployed.. top landed.. hiked to him and found him unconscious, unresponsive, not breathing. Significant trauma to the head.. wingsuit fully zipped up.. Helmet and shoe missing.. chest mount go pro snapped.. wingsuit torn open top to bottom - parallel to front zippers, Canopy & pilot chute looked normal and un-damaged. Both toggles still stowed in shallow brakes.
Weather: Several flights were done from Sputnik, High Trench and fatal attraction, and conditions did not seem to be an issue. From the first 2 jumpers, there was lifting air on exit. Some cloud developing. Winds were light at exit, right to left, valley wind could be seen down on the lake and were felt by some jumpers during there flights. No rain that day. Rock on Exit point was dry.
Conclusion: Given the level of trauma I saw on his body, I suspect it was from a high speed impact in the start of his flight. His parachute was likely deployed either just before impact or as a result of impact.
Can you help us with incident interpretation? We are interested in any details regarding personal experience, gear, weather conditions and any other circumstances related to the incident.