TOPGUNBASE is founded on the premise that wingsuit basejumping (WB) lacks a critical foundation of pilot knowledge and aeronautical decision making (ADM). Here’s the very real truth. My personal list of dead basejumping friends is too long to immediately recall. That in itself should be unsettling. Now consider that over 75% of those fatalities involved a wingsuit.
In the last five years, two out of three basejumping fatalities worldwide involved a wingsuit.
Experts would call that a trend. Not an accident, not a coincidence, but a very real and scary trend. The probable cause is alarmingly consistent. WB fatalities overwhelmingly point to an aviation phrase rarely heard or discussed in our wingsuit community: Pilot Error.
“Pilot error is the action or decision of the pilot that, if not caught or corrected, could contribute to the occurrence of an accident or incident, including inaction or indecision.” – FAA
Translation: ‘They knew better, or should have.’
Hundreds of pilots and thousands of passengers were killed before the Federal Aviation Administration officially defined Pilot Error, and aggressively developed a defense against it. While the educational process took years to establish and gain traction in the face of stubbornness (‘I’m the captain; don’t tell me what to do!’), today’s professional pilots exhibit the most effective ADM skills ever seen, and our historically low aviation mishap rates show the resounding success.
Longevity in wingsuit base requires a mindset shift from cavalier basejumper to professional pilot.
TOPGUNBASE specifically aims to decrease pilot error by offering insights and lessons learned from the same mistakes made decades ago in aviation. We don’t have to keep learning the hard way. The lessons are already out there. It is hoped that a new generation of pilots will emerge who approach WB armed with accurate knowledge, engrained procedures and sound ADM skills, enabling injury-free passionate longevity in the sport.
In short, a fighter pilot’s approach to wingsuit basejumping.