It took more than 100 test flights and a first attempt that had to be abandoned, but the Soul Flyers finally achieved the seemingly impossible. In one of the most spectacular ways to ever catch a flight, Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet succeeded in flying into the open door of a tiny light aircraft in mid-air after freefalling from the summit of the Jungfrau in the Swiss Alps.
Check out the incredible video embedded above for the incredible feat.
The French duo have already wowed millions around the world with their outlandish Soul Flyers wingsuit stunts over Mont Blanc and the Dolomites. This time around, they went one better by pulling off a breathtaking project in honour of revolutionary wingsuit flyer Patrick de Gayardon.
The pair spent several months practising for the iconic stunt by completing more than 100 test flights at Empuriabrava in Spain before they headed to the Swiss Alps.
Despite several weather postponements and a failed first run, they eventually commenced by B.A.S.E jumping from the top of the dizzying 4,158 metre Jungfrau summit. Instead of carrying out their usual array of dazzling tricks in the air, this time they were tasked with entering the back door of the moving aircraft – with 3,200 metres of vertical freefall and 2 minutes 45 seconds to complete the daring stunt.
The Pilatus Porter light aircraft was expertly flown by experienced pilot Philippe Bouvier and navigated by project coordinator Yves “Jetman” Rossy. Both wingsuit flyers managed to freefall down to meet the plane in time, with Reffet gliding smoothly into the cabin closely followed by Fugen.
Reffet, 33, said: “The conditions were perfect and we were well prepared, but it was still an incredibly difficult challenge. “It was very complicated for us as we tried a first time but we messed up a bit and that sucks so much energy out of you. Going up to 4,000 meters, it physically costs a lot. Once I got in, I only thought about one thing, my buddy behind:”
Fugen added: “Right now our thoughts go to Patrick (de Gayardon) who was the first to re-enter a plane. We wanted to do it differently by jumping from a mountain. It is a huge achievement.”