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Christopher Labounty

Christopher Labounty

Date: June 23, 2016
Nationality: American
Object Type: Earth
Location: Torri del Vajolet-Dolomites, Italy
COD: Impact (Terrain flying/Emergency Pull)
Clothes / Suit: Wingsuit
Parachute: TBD
Age: TBD
Experience: Highly Experienced
Time of day: 3:00pm


At 3pm on June 23rd, 2016, Chris jumped solo from Torri del Vajolet, attempting a wingsuit flyby of the restaurant/rifugio, Rifugio Preuss Hütte. Chris had free-solo climbed several hundred feet to the exit point, no other jumpers were present that day and this was his first jump from this exit point. His original flight plan was a more direct path towards the rifugio and to remain visible to the ground crew during the entire flight and deployment. Outside video shows him flying initially towards the east, then turning south, towards the rifugio where he disappears from view of the camera. Other witnesses saw him flying down a gulley, east of the rifugio, then lost sight of him. When he did not land at the primary LZ, ground crew hiked downhill from the rifugio looking for him. Italian Alpine Rescue found his body via helicopter approximately 2 hours later, at the bottom of the gulley, southeast of the rifugio. He struck a tree approximately 60ft uphill, at a 45-degree angle, from where his body was found.

Gear inspection shows the canopy sustained damage from the tree, but the slider was still at the top of the lines, suggesting a low/emergency deployment. The closing loops were intact, evidence the PC had opened the container, not the impact. Injuries sustained and equipment damage suggest a high speed impact. His GoPro was recovered, shattered, without the SD card. Hours were spent searching the impact area on June 25th, but no SD Card was found. The weather conditions were described as light winds from the south, no clouds. The altitude difference between the rifugio (his planned flyby location) and his primary LZ was approximately 300ft. The location where his body was found was at a similar altitude to the Primary LZ.
Chris had jumped that morning, from a different exit point and performed a flyby of a cross next to the rifugio. He landed south(downhill) of the rifugio, on a trail. The planned flight for the second jump was a more direct path to the Primary LZ.

The List:
BASE Fatality List

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