Satyendra Verma : The Army Man and Wingsuit Pilot Every Indian Should Know About

“Jump and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall”

Ray Bradbury

The crazy extreme sport of Base Jumping and Wingsuit Flying does not have many takers in India. A relatively new sport in the country, it still has a long way to go to be established as an adventure sport. But there is one man, an army man who is the pioneer in India as the first wingsuit flyer and also a base jumper. Meet Retired Lt Col Satyendra Verma.

Satyendra Verma
Satyendra Verma

Col Satyendra Verma (Rtd): Introducing Base Jumping and Wing Suit Flying to India


A die-hard adventure junkie, Col Satyendra Verma is the only man from India to have attempted a legal jump from a tower. This happened on October 30th in 2010, when he successfully attempted the jump from Pitampura Tower in New Delhi. On an uncertain windy day, with adrenaline gushing through his veins, in a 15 minute time span to calm himself, he took the leap from the tower and rest is history.

Applauded for his jump by the Indian Sports Ministry, he was honoured with the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award in Air Adventure (2015).
Before this he has the jump atop a ledge -980 feet high on the Rooftop of Kuala Lumpur in September, 2009 in his kitty.
Coming from a small town in Meerut, Satyendra Verma intercepts enemy communication and if needed disrupts them. A passionate army man, Satyendra Verma participated in the Wingsuit World Championship in 2015 and became the first Indian Professional Skydiver. Transitioning from Skydiving to BASE Jumping to Wingsuit Flying, this army man’s zest knows no bounds. He has more than 250 flights in his kitty

Satyendra Verma WingSuit Flying
Wingsuit Flying


His tryst with the sport came at the right time. He says,

“ I have been extremely lucky to join the Indian Army at the right time which gave me the background and the eligibility to do Wingsuit Flying”.

Making the whole country proud by attempting a flight from over the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, Satyendra Verma created history that day by flying and covering the whole of Mahim Bay and landing at the Shivaji Park Ground in Dadar. You Can Check out Satyendra Verma’s Wingsuit Flying Video below:

 


Satyendra Verma’s adventure mantra is to ,

‘Live life with caution , but without fear’.

A man with a brave heart, Satyendra Verma is surely the best adventurer to introduce the sport of Base Jumping and Wing Suit Flying to India. On the road to scale new heights , he is preparing for the World WingSuit Championship.

If you follow your dream it may take a year or two, or ten more years than what you think, but if you really follow them, they all come true.”

Satyendra Verma

Skydiving

Skydiving is a sport wherein you jump from an airplane from a jump altitude. You get a 60 second window of  a free fall depending on your altitude. The Sky Diver then deploys the parachute and steers it to line up for the landing. In the case of tandem skydiving, a drogue chute is used to regulate the fall rate.

SKydiving Satyendra Verma
Skydiving


The history of Skydiving can be chased back to the Chinese of 90 B.C. in China.

A Chinese historian, Ssuma Ch’ien studied ancient texts, which told the story of Emperor Shun.

Emperor Shun was on the run because his father was trying to kill him. He fled into a granary tower, which was set ablaze. To Escape,the Emperor tied several large conical straw hats together and jumped out of the tower, the hats served as a parachute, and landed safely on the ground.
Joseph Montgolfier of France, in the late 18th century, first gave significant meaning to the modern use of the parachute by testing his device while jumping out of a hot air balloon.
The first skydiver, although this is disputed, was Grant Morton who, in 1911, jumped from a Wright Model B airplane over Venice Beach, California. He had used a folded silk parachute and  threw the canopy into the air and landed safely.

BASE Jumping


BASE is an acronym. Each letter denotes a fixed object.
B– Building

A– Antenna

S– Span

E– Earth

Base-Jumping-Over-City
Base Jumping
PC: demircalim.com


These are the objects from which one can jump. Base Jumping came from Sky Diving. In Base jumping you jump from a lower altitude than Skydiving. The term was coined by filmmaker Carl Boenish, his wife Jean Boenish, Phil Smith, and Phil Mayfield. Carl was the catalyst behind modern BASE jumping. In 1978, he filmed the first BASE jumps to be made using ram-air parachutes and the free fall tracking technique from El Capitan, in Yosemite National Park.

Wingsuit

Satyendra Verma in a wingsuit
Satyendra Verma in a wingsuit


Wingsuit flying in a layman’s terms is just spreading your arms and flying like a bird while wearing a wingsuit. The sport requires the flyer to jump out of an aircraft to achieve a high enough altitude. The difference between sky diving and wingsuit flying is that wingsuit flying requires a suit called wingsuit, unlike sky diving.

Until the moment the flyers pull their parachute chord, they can soar horizontally at high speeds and perform aerial acrobatics — all while descending at a rate much slower than that of a typical skydiver.

An early attempt at wingsuit flying was made on 4 February 1912 by a 33-year-old tailor, Franz Reichelt. He jumped from the Eiffel Tower to test his invention. It was a combination of parachute and wing, which was similar to modern wingsuits.

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Sweta K Bhanushali

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