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02 June 2023

Canadian wingsuit jumper dies in China

Tianmen Mountain in central China is renowned for impressive sandstone pillars and attracts many wingusit enthusiasts. (AFP)


A Canadian man has died after attempting a wingsuit jump in China, state media reported, the latest fatality in the extreme sport that involves leaping from a plane or mountain while wearing a bodysuit with wings.

The body of 28-year-old Graham Dickinson, a wingsuit specialist, was found Thursday on a cliff in the Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park in the central province of Hunan, Xinhua news agency reported Friday.

The region is renowned for its impressive sandstone pillars and attracts many wingsuit enthusiasts. Hungarian wingsuit jumper Victor Kovats died in the same national park in 2013.

Dickinson, who finished third in the 2016 World Wingsuit League China Grand Prix at Tianmen Mountain, had been given permission to train in the area earlier this month.

He was reported missing Wednesday after he failed to return from a jump, the World Wingsuit League (WWL) said on its Facebook page.

Dickinson recorded a total of 2,250 base jumps in his life, the WWL said.

The average wingsuit flight lasts barely a minute and within eight seconds, the jumper reaches speeds of 200 kilometres (120 miles) per hour.

Dozens of jumpers reportedly died last year.