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Five members of the Red Bull Air Force made a rare wingsuit flight over the New York City skyline last Sunday morning.
Utilizing the latest technology in wingsuits -- special jumpsuits that add surface area to the human body to enable a significant increase in lift -- allowed the flyers to travel an amazing two miles in two minutes to get a new, amazing view of the iconic NYC cityscape.
Ascending to 7,500 feet above the city via aircraft, the elite skydive team deplaned near the southern tip of Manhattan. Aided by their wingsuits, the flyers were able to propel to 120 mph during freefall, passing by defining buildings of the Financial District, before heading uptown where they deployed their parachutes -- landing safely on a barge floating on the Hudson River.
“We got only one shot at this,” said Jeff Provenzano, who completed the monumental jump with fellow Red Bull Air Force members (and New York natives) Sean MacCormac and Amy Chmelecki, alongside team manager Jon Devore and videographer Andy Farrington, who also jumped.
"The five of us have known each other 18 years strong now," said Chmelecki.
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“The FAA air space restrictions were a big challenge,” said Devore, referring to the three major airports surrounding the proposed jump zone, and the limitations imposed after 9/11. But the team obtained the appropriate permits.
“I always believed it would happen,” said Provenzano prior to the jump. “It was just a question of when.”
The successful skydive was organized in anticipation of the Bethpage Air Show on Long Island, New York, next weekend (Memorial Day weekend). The Red Bull Air Force will be performing multiple jumps for the large crowds expected at the highly revered air show, which draws 400,000 spectators annually.
“Being from New York, this is so special and I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a kid,” said Provenzano after the jump. “It’s been years of looking up at the big buildings and wondering if there is a day that I can fly over them. That day was today.”