Mike Swanson

The undisputed king of the skies!

Wingsuit pilots Georg Lettner, Mike Swanson, Matt Gerdes and Espen Fadnes perform during the Red Bull Aces Exhibition at Airpower16 in Zeltweg, Austria
© Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool

Hi, my name is Mike Swanson. My discipline is skydiving, BASE jumping and wingsuit flying. I was born on 8 February 1972 in Duluth, Minnesota, USA. My special talent is pioneering freeflying and aerial videography.

Bio

Building this pro athlete's life from scratch started with a sport he loved and knew from childhood. A third-generation skydiver, Swanson took gold many times in the early days of competition of a developing discipline called 'freeflying'. He now holds multiple US national and world championship titles, as well as multiple gold medals from the legendary Space Games and many other major triumphs in the world of skydiving.

The drive, dedication and skill in the skydiving arena set him up for his exploration into other avenues of aerial sports. He has once again found himself set apart in a very elite group of athletes in the sports of BASE jumping as well as the avenues of proximity wingsuit flying and as an aerial stuntmen.

Mike has been part of breakthrough stunts like the 'Transformers 3' stunt project, flying wingsuits in urban proximity through downtown Chicago, which not only won the Taurus Stunt Award for 2011 for best specialty stunt, they were also the first ever urban, formation, proximity flights made!

Mike's a unique and interesting character; inwardly all about balance and peace, yet outwardly dedicated, passionate, driven, honest and direct to a fault. Most often the wave maker and motivator, and with a straight line to the next goal he sets for himself. He's driven by his passion for flight and exploration into all that is new and untouched, and he continues daily to strive towards the next breakthrough moment in his life!

When he's not doing demos with the Red Bull Air Force or filming for movies and television and the next big idea project, he's busy sharing his knowledge and expertise with other skydivers and training new techniques himself, refining his own skills in all of his aerial sports.

Mike is recognised as a pioneer of freeflying and has compiled a track record of more than 20,000 skydives (jumping from as high as 7,600m), over 3,000 wingsuit jumps (600 involving proximity flying), in excess of 1,000 BASE jumps, over 200 hours as a private airplane pilot and more than 300 live shows.

He also pilots paragliders and paramotors, and is a professional aerial cameraman. He has co-organised and participated in five world records at the last count, including coordinating 138 people freeflying head down in formation.

If you're looking for Mike Swanson, you'll have to look far and wide and be ready to move fast: take to the European Alps in the summer for BASE proximity wingsuit training, the winter for speed riding, and the best locations all over the world for skydive and technique training at any time of the year.

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Career Highlights

  1. 2015
    1. Participant: Red Bull Air Force Jordan Jump

      Jordan

  2. 2014
    1. Participant: Red Bull Aces

      Oakdale, California, USA

  3. 2011
    1. Participant: Human Flight 3D film

  4. 2010
    1. Participant: Transformers 3 Film

      Mike and select members of Red Bull Air Force were asked to perform live action stunts for Michael Bay.

      Chicago, USA

  5. 2000
    1. 3rd Place: Space Games - Freefly Indy 500

      Palm Beach, Florida, USA

    2. 3rd Place: Space Games - Three-way Freefly Open

      Palm Beach, Florida, USA