Hungarian Wingsuit Flyer Died after A Tragic Jump in Zhangjiajie, China

Hungarian wingsuit flyer Victor Kovats was confirmed dead on October 9, 2013, after plunging into a valley of Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park during his warming-up performing flight for the upcoming 2nd Redbull WWL World Wingsuit Championship in Zhangjiajie of Central China’s Hunan province on October 8, 2013. Kovats’ body was found with a smashed skull at the foot of 100m cliff by the next morning after more than 17 hours’ continuous search. Kovats’ death is believed to be either caused by equipment failure or gusting winds, which tragically lead him to lose control with the parachute failing to open before landing.

Victor Kovats dressed in orange wingsuit

Wingsuit skydiving is the ultimate in extreme sports and performed by highly experienced individuals who have trained for years. Statistics claim that only several hundred people around the world dare to try Wingsuit skydiving, and dozens of them have died for it.

Victor Kovats was a top extreme sports enthusiast, a veteran of 6 years’ experience and 700 wingsuit dives, and a three-time Hungary national champion wingsuiter. He was preparing to compete the Second World Wingsuit Championship, scheduled to be held from Oct. 11 to 13, on which competitors are challenged to jump about 700 meters (2,290 foot) from the steep cliffs of Tianmen Mountain.

The Red Bull World Wingsuit League expressed its condolences on Kovats’ death and promised to conduct a thorough review of the events that lead into this accident and adopt any appropriate changes to improve safety, but stopped short of canceling the event.

Last photos of Victor Kovats

Victor Kovats’ last jump and fatal jump

Victor Kovats’ and other contestants of the 2rd Wingsuit Flying World Championship

Kovats was found at the bottom of a 100m cliff with a cracked skull

Around 200 firefighters and police officers were involved in the search and rescue for Kovats in Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park

Contestants of the Wingsuit Flying World Championship mourn Kovats’ passing…

Hungarian wingsuit flyer Victor Kovats

Cathy’s Travel Stories: Plank Road alongside Guigu Cliff on Tianmen Mountain

Can you image a path suspends on a cliff more than 1,400m above sea level? We took a short trip to experience the road in the sky at the end of February, 2012. The road in the sky is also called the Plank Road along side Guigu Cliffs. It is located on the Shifou Mountain (also called Tianmen Mountain), Zhangjiajie City, Hunan Province. Tianmen is the highest peak in the Wulingyuan Mountains and is regarded as the “soul” of Zhangjiajie city.

Here our hearts were agitated by the extreme shock and stimulation. The walk is totally awesome. We like actions slithered along the cliff wall and when we spotted someone coming in the opposite direction. And we hadn’t seen them in hope that they would be the ones to risk their life with polite offering of allowing the other to pass. It was an adventurous experience!

Tianmen Mountain, Zhangjiajie city

Kilometres of paths was built alongside the Cliff on Tianmen Mountain.

Tianmen mountain literally means Heavenly Gate Mountain, standing at 1,500 meters above sea level. Tianmen cave is a natural hole half way up the mountain of a height of 131.5 metres. It is just like a gate to the heaven. Also, the mountain got its name “Tianmen Mountain”. The cableway from Zhangjiajie downtown towards Tianmen Mountain is considered to be the longest cableway in the world, covering a distance of 7,455 meters and with a height of 1,279 meters. An 11km road with 99 bends also reaches the top of the mountain and takes visitors to Tianmen cave.

 Tianmen Mountain, Zhangjiajie city

Cable car, Tianmen Mountain, Zhangjiajie city

Tianmen Mountain, Zhangjiajie City

In 1999, in an acrobatic show, three airplanes flew through Tianmen Cave.

Impressively, a 60-metre-long glass path has been built 4700ft high on the western side of Tianmen Mountain. The walkway is so high up that it allows visitors to looking down at the peaks of smaller mountains below.

Tianmen Mountain, Zhangjiajie City

Visitors tread nervously over the see-through “sky walk”.