BASE jumping

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BASE jumping is a fringe sport in which a person jumps from a fixed place and uses a parachute to slow down before the ground is reached. "BASE" is an acronym that stands for each of the four jump location categories: from buildings, antennas, spans (bridges) and the earth. This last is similar to jumping off a cliff.[1] BASE jumping is an extreme sport. This means it involves speed, height, danger or spectacular stunts.[2]

History from skydiving[change | change source]

BASE Jumping from the Sapphire Tower, Istanbul.

The idea for BASE jumping came from skydiving. BASE jumping is much more dangerous than skydiving from aircraft.[2]

BASE jumps are usually made from much lower altitudes than skydives. Also, the jumper leaps closer to the platform or standing space. BASE jumpers fall through the air at slower speeds than skydivers, because they begin the jump closer to the ground. As a skydiver falls, he accelerates while falling and gains speed with each second.[3] So a BASE jumper does not always reach terminal velocity. Because faster speed while falling through the air gives jumpers more control of their bodies, and a quicker parachute opening, the longer the delay in the air, the safer.

Another danger is that most BASE jumpers have very small areas in which to land. A beginner skydiver, after the parachute opens, may have about three minutes or more of a parachute ride to reach the ground. A BASE jump from 500 feet will only have a parachute ride of 10 to 15 seconds.

Deaths[change | change source]

BASE jumping has a death rate averaging about one fatality for every sixty jumpers.[4] It is one of the most dangerous sporting activities in the world. It has a fatality and injury rate 43 times higher than parachuting from a plane.[5][6]

As of May 2015, the online "BASE Fatality List" lists 256 deaths from BASE jumping since April 1981.[7]

Dean Potter and Graham Hunt were killed in a BASE jump attempt at Yosemite National Park in California on May 16, 2015. Potter was a well known rock climber. They jumped at dusk from about 3000 feet up. They both quickly smashed into the rocks of the cliff on the way down. Neither jumper used a parachute that might have saved them.[8]

In the news[change | change source]

In September 2013, three men jumped off the incompletely built One World Trade Center in New York City. They filmed their jump using cameras on their heads and later showed the video on YouTube. In March 2014, the three jumpers and one helper on the ground were arrested after turning themselves in.[9]

References[change | change source]

  1. "BASENumbers.org". BASENumbers.org. http://www.basenumbers.org/. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dizikes, Cynthia (April 22, 2011). "BASE jumpers fall for thrill-seeking lifestyle". Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-04-22/news/ct-met-basejumping-20110421_1_base-jumpers-thrill-arrest. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  3. "Skydiving: The Speed of the skydiver". The Physics Classroom. http://www.physicsclassroom.com/mmedia/newtlaws/sd.cfm. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  4. Westman, A; Rosen, M; Berggren, P; Bjornstig, U (7 April 2008). "Parachuting from fixed objects: descriptive study of 106 fatal events in BASE jumping 1981-2006". British Journal of Sports Medicine 42 (6): 431–436. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2008.046565 . http://bjsportmed.com/content/42/6/431.abstract.
  5. Soreide, K; Ellingsen, CL; Knutson, V (May 2007). "How dangerous is BASE jumping? An analysis of adverse events in 20,850 jumps from the Kjerag Massif, Norway.". The Journal of trauma 62 (5): 1113–7. doi:10.1097/01.ta.0000239815.73858.88 . PMID 17495709 . http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17495709.
  6. "Risk of dying and sporting activities". Medicine.ox.ac.uk. 2003-05-26. http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/booth/Risk/sports.html. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  7. "BASE Fatality List". Blincmagazine.com. http://www.blincmagazine.com/forum/wiki/BASE_Fatality_List. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  8. "Dean Potter, Extreme Climber, Dies in BASE-Jumping Accident at Yosemite". New York Times. 2015-05-17. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/18/sports/dean-potter-extreme-climber-dies-in-jumping-accident-at-yosemite.html. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  9. Haley Draznin (26 March 2014). "Four men arrested in One World Trade Center jump stunt". CNN website. http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/25/justice/one-world-trade-center-jump-stunt/. Retrieved 29 March 2014.

Other websites[change | change source]