BASE jumpers Fred Fugen and Vincent Reffet set a new world record by plunging 2,716 feet off the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, also known as the WORLD'S TALLEST BUILDING. And unlike some recent building BASE-jumping adventures, this one was legal.
“This is the leap of a lifetime and the result of three years of planning,” said Fugen. Pulling off the impressive stunt took the help of some high-profile individuals, namely Nasser Al Neyadi, the chairman of Skydive Dubai, and H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum The Crown Prince of Dubai, who helped Fugen and Reffet gain access to the building.
The BASE jumpers, who are members of the Soul Flyer team, trained for the jump in the mountains of Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. The ascent up the Burj Khalifa was considerably easier. An elevator brought them to around 500 feet below the top, and from there, a set of stairs and ladders inside the tower took them the rest of the way.
The biggest risk was the Burj Khalifa's architecture, which flares out at the bottom. A specially constructed 10-foot ramp allowed Fugen and Reffet to take-off at a safe distance away from the building. Once they exited, the extreme height of the building left them with lots of options. Says Fugen: “It's the only building in the world that lets you do free-fly manoeuvres, jumping head down!”
The Soul Flyers didn't just plummet down before pulling their chutes, they circled the building one and a quarter times on the way down. “We had very good conditions,” said Fugen. “There was a three-day window for the jump, and we got perfect weather on the second day.”
Fugen and Reffet made a total of six jumps, in both free-fly mode and wingsuits. Rounding the building in their suits was an ambitious endeavor because turning increases the rate of descent significantly. But nevertheless, says Fugen, “We never got scared!”
“This was by far the most exciting jump of my life, a dream come true,” added Reffet.
Enjoy the video above, and stay tuned. With 20 cameras on the ground, two helicopters, and plenty of GoPros, we have a feeling there's more coming.