Wingsuit first over Grand Canyon achieved

Aussie couple Glenn Singleman and Heather Swan have become among the first to wingsuit over the USA’s Grand Canyon
By Natsumi Penberthy April 20, 2015 Reading Time: < 1 Print this page

ON 9 APRIL 2015 Aussie wingsuiters Glenn Singleman and Heather Swan – along with team members Roger Hugelshofer, Vicente Cajiga and camerman Paul Tozer – claimed a world first and became the only people to have wingsuited across the Grand Canyon.  

The Australian Geographic Society-sponsored team took off at roughly 7:30am PDT, and a rapid seven minutes later were landing on the other side of the canyon, on a strip they’d marked out, relatively free of shrubs and cactus.

“It looked like nowhere you’d want to land a parachute,” says Heather, about looking down at the landing zone from 30,000ft.

The flight from canyon’s north to south rims is unique because of the technical skill needed and complex logistics involved in getting it right. “Landing in the canyon just wasn’t and option,” says Heather. 

Permission was obtained from the local Hualapai people, as it’s a federal offence to skydive or parachute over or in the National Park section of the canyon.

Flying at roughly 161km/h, they covered about 11km in a zippy 7 minutes. The full story of this flight can be found in the issue 127 July/August Australian Geographic