Kiwi wings it to five national records

By Tracey Roxburgh

Queenstown's Colin Aitchison in action at Methven yesterday. Photo / Hayden Galvin
Queenstown's Colin Aitchison in action at Methven yesterday. Photo / Hayden Galvin

In just under two minutes Colin Aitchison set five New Zealand skydiving and wingsuit records above Methven yesterday - and he's already planning to better them.

The 29-year-old, from Queenstown, aimed to set four New Zealand records - highest New Zealand skydive, highest New Zealand wingsuit flight, longest freefall duration and longest distance covered in freefall, during the Southern Summer Jam, an annual event he helps organise.

Jumping in his Vampire V2 Wingsuit at 20,000 feet took care of the first two and, while he aimed to freefall for more than four minutes, his time yesterday of 2 minutes 41 seconds was enough to set the record.

He had also aimed to cover 12km in freefall, but came up short, flying a total distance of 9.53km, in doing so also setting that record.

However, after landing he discovered he's managed to set a fifth record unintentionally - the fastest wingsuit forward speed by travelling at 133.3kmh.

"That is in zero wind," he said.

"It would have been up around 300kmh if there had have been wind."

The lack of wind also contributed to the flight distance and time in freefall, he said.

Despite not quite achieving his goals, Mr Aitchison said yesterday afternoon he was "stoked".

"Even my Dad came down to watch it - he ended up coming up in the plane with me."

In the past month Mr Aitchison had dropped about 8kg in weight to aid his record attempts, doing regular gym workouts to build arm strength and sticking to a "no carbs, no sugar" diet.

While celebrating with a few beers last night, he planned to head straight back to the gym next week to begin preparations to break his records, aiming to complete a wingsuit jump from 30,000 feet next year.

- Otago Daily Times

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