Gary Connery became the first man to ever land a wingsuit without deploying a parachute on Wednesday May 23rd 2012. His flight from the helicopter at 2,400ft to the box rig on the ground took just 40 seconds. During his dive he reached a combined speed of 102 mph (84 mph horizontally and 59 mph vertically) whilst having to deal with the air turbulence and continuously adjusting his steep approach angle to stay on target. During training Gary had been able to consistently fly his wingsuit at 55 mph. However data has now been retrieved from the Flysight GPS unit that was on his neck brace, which confirmed that he impacted the boxes at a combined speed of 69.7 mph. At a height of 250ft, Gary levelled out but was still approaching too fast at 85mph. Once he flew over the front of the box rig, Gary was then able to ‘flare’ his wingsuit, maximising his air resistance, which brought his speed down to a ‘safer’ 70 mph when he ‘landed’. After the landing, Gary and his wingsuit were inspected and no damage on either was found, much to the relief of his wife, Vivienne!
The entire flight of nearly a mile took less than a minute and was only given the green light because the weather conditions were “perfect”. Gary, from nearby Henley-on-Thames, Oxon, dropped for three seconds before reaching speeds of more than 80mph in a specially developed wing suit that "started to fly". He landed on a strip measuring about 350ft (100m) by 45ft (15m) which contained 18,600 cardboard boxes. At its highest point 12ft off the ground - at Temple Island Meadows, on the Buckinghamshire and Berkshire border.
In order to survive the audacious stunt, he had to flare his wing suit about 200ft from his target in order to bring his gliding speed down to 50mph and his vertical falling speed to 15mph.
Some applied mathematics proves that Garyâ€™s speed when he hit the box rig landing area would be the equivalent to someone jumping vertically from 60ft (18m)
I knew one day my Maths lessons would pay off!
Having made history as the first skydiver to safely land without using a parachute, Gary is used to high-profile stunts. Now, after acting as the Queen’s skydiving stunt-double during the Opening Ceremony, the father of two says he has realised his dream. ‘I had the best seat in the house for a show that was seen around the world,’ he says. Gary and James Bond double Mark Sutton underwent months of secret training for their show-stealing jump.
On the night, Gary 8.50pm by military air-traffic controllers and then guided into position over the arena at 800ft for the pair to make their entrance.
After deploying their parachutes at 500ft, the duo steered away from the stadium and landed on a nearby bridge. was sewn into a copy of the salmon dress the Queen was wearing, and the duo were driven to Stapleford airfield, Essex. Their helicopter was given the all-clear to take off at
Gary now says he has only one regret from the night: ‘I really wanted to keep the dress, but I wasn’t allowed. It would have looked great on a night out.’
Let’s not forget that Gary Connery is also a member of Equity’s stunt register and has performed and co-ordinated stunts on numerous film and television series including.
He doubled Gary Oldman in Dead Fish, was stunt coordinator on Run Fat Boy Run, was Rowan Atkinson’s double for Johnny English Reborn and John Hurt’s double in Indiana Jones adventure Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Dressed as James Bond, stuntman Gary Connery leaps from the top of the London Eye and arrives safely back on earth neither shaken nor stirredâ€Ś
For more information about Gary please visit his website www.garyconnery.com Or follow him on Twitter @GaryConnery Competed at National level in white water racing in kayaks as a teenager. Competed at international level in ski racing for five seasons, reaching 8th in Britain Joined the Army, 3 Para, at 23 where he started military parachuting, skydiving and BASE jumping To date, has completed over 880 skydives and 450 BASE jumps First wing suit jump over 8 years ago Joined the UK Stunt Register in November 1997 and became a stunt co-ordinator in 2003.
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GARY CONNERY & FAMILY 2012
A look at stuntman Gary Connery's recent very high profile exploits