Anna Leask

Anna Leask is a police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Kiwi wingsuit diver dies in crash in Switzerland

Dan Vicary during a flight using a wingsuit
Dan Vicary during a flight using a wingsuit

A Kiwi wingsuit pilot has died after crashing into a field following a jump from a helicopter over Switzerland's Luetschental Valley.

Dan Vicary, 33, died alongside fellow wingsuit pilot Ludovic Woerth from France on Saturday. A third man was seriously injured.

Alongside his wingsuit pursuits Mr Vicary, from Invercargill, was also a professional base jumper and skydiver. He lived in Switzerland with his wife Lisa Hutchins. The couple had recently celebrated their third wedding anniversary.

Mr Vicary had completed more than 450 wingsuit flights, 6000 skydives and 750 base jumps.

He was well known in the adventure sport world and tributes were being posted on his Facebook page from around the globe.

Jonathan Touchard said losing Mr Vicary was "truly devastating and a big hit in the face".

He said the 33-year-old had an "awesome and positive" personality.

Mark Williams said the 33-year-old was "an inspiration to all who push life's boundaries".

"People like him, that live his dream, should inspire the world to be a better place to live," said Dani Lo.

Mr Vicary visited New Zealand earlier this month, spending time in the South Island filming wingsuit flights.


Dan Vicary during a tandem skydive in the French Alps

He enjoyed his time here, writing about the trip on his Facebook page.

"New Zealand was incredible - as always I was blown away by beautiful, untouched scenery out there in the Southern Alps," he said.

Around 20 people die every year while attempting to take part in the extreme sport in which participants wear a specialist suit which allows them to glide like a flying squirrel.

Last August, wingsuit diver Mark Sutton, who parachuted into the London 2012 Olympics dressed as James Bond, died from crashing into a mountain ridge in the Swiss Alps after jumping from a helicopter.

- Additional reporting by APNZ

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

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