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Swiss wingsuit crash claims third victim

Friday 4 Apr 2014 7:35 a.m.

Kiwi Dan Vicory (2L) with American Brian Drake (2R) in Switzerland (Facebook)

Kiwi Dan Vicory (2L) with American Brian Drake (2R) in Switzerland (Facebook)

The Swiss wingsuit flight disaster that claimed the lives of New Zealander and a Frenchman has now also accounted for the third pilot hurt in the crash.

One of the biggest names in the wingsuit community American Brian Drake, 33, died in a Bern hospital on Wednesday, four days after the accident. He was critically injured and had been in a coma Saturday's crash which killed Invercargill's Dan Vicary and Frenchman Ludovic Woerth.

The three men jumped from a helicopter over the Luetschental Valley and were meant to descend 2750 metres in 1 minute and 20 seconds but all three crashed into a field.

The men recorded their flight on camera.

Another wingsuit pilot, Vincent Descols, had watched the footage and in a posting on the World Wingsuit League's Facebook page, said it appeared the trio had crossed the wrong ridge and discovered flat terrain in front of them instead of another drop.

They only had 3 seconds to open their parachutes, which was not enough time.

"I'm so sad ... I definitely blame no one. They were all outstanding flyers, this situation can happen to many of us."

Some 20 people are killed each year taking part in the extreme sport.

In 2012, Kiwi base jumper Alan McCandlish died after a fatal fall in Switzerland. Mr McCandlish, who was also wearing a winged suit, hit a rock wall, and plunged over a cliff.

NZN

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