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This page is a chapter in 'BASE Wiki About BASE Jumping'

15th century

In the 15th century, we find the famous genius of all times, Leonardo Da Vinci, painter, sculptor, mathematician, scientist, engineer, designer and builder of many devices. He studied birds and flight for several years and got basic conclusions in aeronautics. The parachute he designed was pyramidal-shaped, as can be appreciated in drawings included in his notebooks. His original idea was to build a device to rescue people from burning buildings. Although we don’t know if he tried this parachute, many people consider Leonardo Da Vinci the “Father of the Parachute”.

Through ensuing centuries, as parachutes did come into existence, and da Vinci's minimal effort was reviewed, he came to be credited with being "the father of the parachute." It was not until long past his death that the term "parachute" was coined. [Five hundred years later, in the year 2000, the British skydiver Adrian Nicholas resolved to put da Vinci's idea to the test. Nicholas and the da Vinci parachute successfully flew on July 25, 2000.]


In 1616 we find a Croatian man, born as Faust VRANCIC in Sibenik, also known as Fauste De Veranzio, who published a book called “Machinae Nova”, in which appeared a diagram titled “Homo Volans”, showing a man jumping from a tower, with a square canvas parachute, attached to the jumper’s harness with four lines, as can be seen in this picture. This drawing is very similar to the parachutes actually used for sport parachuting.


Fausto Veranzio constructed a device similar to da Vinci's drawing and jumped from a tower in Venice in 1617. He is considered the first man to build and test a parachute: in 1617, now over sixty-five years old, he implemented his design and tested the parachute by jumping from St Mark's Campanile in Venice. This event was documented some 30 years after it happened in a book written by John Wilkins, the secretary of the Royal Society in London.


In 1779, Louis-Sébastien Lenormand, a french physicist, studied about parachutes throwing animals. Due to his many studies, we can consider him the first systematic parachute constructor.


In 1783, Louis-Sébastien Lenormand, made the first parachute jump from the tower of the Montpellier observatory using a fourteen-foot-diameter canopy in an effort to develop a way to escape buildings on fire. Preceding the jump from a balloon by André-Jacques Garnerin.

The de Montgolfier brothers, Joseph and Étienne, tested a variety of parachute designs. It is said that in one of their experiments they dropped sheep on a seven-foot canopy without injury to the befuddled animal.


It was in 1785 that JEAN PIERRE BLANCHARD, a french balloonist, designed and built the first silk canopy parachute, which could be packed. Before that, parachutes were built with a rigid framework. In 1793, he did an emergency jump from a balloon and broke his legs.

October 1797

In October 1797, Jacques-André Garnerin was credited with being the first genuine parachutist by jumping with a parachute without a rigid frame from a hydrogen balloon over London, England. One of Garnerin's balloon jumps from 8000 feet, a very high altitude for the time, was observed by a French astronomer, Lalandes. As the parachute descended, severe oscillations were induced in the canopy. Lalandes suggested cutting a small hole near the apex of the canopy to inhibit the oscillations. This modification is now known as the vent and does indeed dramatically reduce canopy oscillations.


Garnerin actually crossed the English Channel in 1802 in a balloon and landed in England by parachute.


Over ensuing years, others in France, Poland, and England valorously tested their ideas- and progress was made, often at a dear cost. But the price was considered worthwhile to each of the experimenters and they continued work. Robert Cocking distinguished himself by becoming parachuting's first fatality when he fell to his death in 1837. Cocking jumped an inverted coneshaped parachute (point down) from 5000 ft.


A British expatriate named Bobby Leach jumped from the Rainbow Bridge between Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York with a parachute in 1906, landing in the Niagara River. At that time the bridge was only about half the distance from the falls that it is now (original bridge was destroyed by ice in the ‘30's). Leach was a daredevil, twice swimming across the Whirlpool rapids as a stunt. He later jumped from a plane over Canada but was blown back and landed in New York.

February 2, 1912

At 2:45 p.m. on February 2, 1912, steeplejack Frederick R. Law successfully performed a parachute jump from the observation platform surrounding the torch. It was done with the permission of the army captain administering the island. The New York Times reported that he "fell fully seventy-five feet [23 m] like a dead weight, the parachute showing no inclination whatsoever to open at first", but he then descended "gracefully", landed hard, and limped away. A photo of the jump appeared in one of Phil Smith’s Baseline mags.

Link to New York Times article: Parachute Leap Off Statue of LIberty (.pdf)

February 4, 1912

Franz Reichelt, known as the flying tailor, designed an overcoat to fly or float its wearer gently to the ground like the modern parachute. To demonstrate his invention he made a jump of 60 meters from the first deck of the Eiffel Tower, at that time the tallest man-made structure in the world. The parachute failed and Reichelt fell to his death. The jump was recorded by the cameras of the gathered press.

Video of the jump:


a Russian student Vladimir Ossovski (???????? ?????????), from the Saint-Petersburg Conservatory, jumped from the 53-meter high bridge over the river Seine in Rouen (France), using the parachute RK-1, invented a year before that by Gleb Kotelnikov (1872-1944). Ossovski planned jumping from the Eiffel Tower too, but the mayor of Paris didn’t allow that. (Information from the Russian edition of GEO (magazine) magazine, issue 11, November 2006, [http://www.geo.ru GEO]).


Stefan Banic, a Slovak inventor, constructed and tested a prototype of a parachute in Washington, D.C. by jumping from a 41-floor building and subsequently from an airplane to the United States Patent Office and United States military. His patented parachute became standard equipment for U.S. pilots during World War I. Banic donated U.S. Patent (No. 1,108,484) to the U.S. Army. He received little fame or fortune for his invention.

November 11, 1917

Major Orde-Lees and Lieutenant A. E. Bowen made jumps from Tower Bridge on Sunday, November 11, 1917 with Calthrop’s ‘Guardian Angel’ s 150' into the Thames to attempt to convince the Air Admiralty to buy parachutes for their pilots.

1920's & 1930's

In the 20's and 30's John Tranum did a jump from 154' Pasadena Bridge in California and rode a motorcycle off a 1000' cliff, parachuting down safely.



Erich Felbermayr from Wels jumped from the Kleine Zinne / Cima piccola di Lavaredo in the Dolomites. [2]


Bryan Schubert and Mike Pelkey parachute from El Capitan, in California’s Yosemite National Park. They use unmodified skydiving gear with round parachutes, and both sustain injuries from landing in wind. Read [1]

September 7, 1970

Don Boyles first to BASE jump the Royal Gorge Bridge.
At Bridge Day 1982, Don gave me (R.H) a picture of him on the bridge in 1970 and has the date written on the back of the photo. He used a 28' sleeved round and a 4 pin military harness.

January 31, 1972

Rick Sylvester skied off Yosemite Valley's El Capitan cliff, making the first skiBASE jump (only he termed it a "ski/parachute jump" since the acronym BASE had yet to be coined), falling approximately halfway down, about 1500', before deploying his Thunderbow chute. He did this two more times, approximately two weeks after first jump then a year later. [1]

March 26, 1972

first confirmed base jumps done in Australia. (Sunday 6:30am) Bob Hepburn and Bob Whitebread did a static line jump from the Sydney Harbor Bridge.


Ian Swinbourne did the first ever what is now known as the under, which was to throw his reserve canopy (a GQ Security round) over the edge of the Lake Berryessa Bridge, (near Pope Valley, north of San Francisco), whilst it was still attached to my harness, (no main), and as the wind started to inflate the canopy, I jumped off the bridge. From memory, the canopy didn't quite get full vertical line stretch before I ploughed into the water under a high-speed pendulum swing. (24 & bullet proof at the time). He was in company with Pete Gruber, a well know Californian Jumper & connoisseur of the various stimulants available at that time, who also experienced a similar pendulum high speed immersion. [1]

November 9, 1973

Rick Sylvester skied off the top of El Capitan and descended 3000' by parachute. This was conceived as "the world's greatest ski jump". Already an expert skier, he spent 3 weeks learning sky diving to make this jump. He has since retired from stunt work. There is a mis-match on dates from the 1972 ski jump RIck did and this one. It is felt that this 1973 jump was the 3rd ski base jump he performed, not the first.[1]

July 22, 1975

With his friend Mike Sergio, Owen J. Quinn disguised himself as a construction worker and hid his parachute in a duffel bag (covered with tools) and made his way up the North Tower to publicize the plight of the unemployed. They were met by a security guard, and while Sergio distracted him, Quinn continued toward the roof and got into his parachute.

November 9, 1975

The first person to parachute off the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, was Bill Eustace, a member of the tower's construction crew. He was fired.

Bill Eustace w/parachute after jump

July, 1976

Rick Sylvester skied off Canada's Mount Asgard for the opening sequence of the James Bond movie "The Spy Who Loved Me (film)", giving the wider world its first look at BASE jumping.

August 8, 1978

It took three more years for Carl to put together the first trips to the Valley with the purpose of foot launching parachute jumps from El Cap. The new team consisted of Kent Lane, Mike Sherrin and Ken Gosselin, and that's the order they jumped in.

The date is August 8, 1978 and this is the actual birth date of "modern" BASE jumping. (Why we don't celebrate that day every year is beyond me)!

Summer 1978

Two week trial legal BASE Jumping period on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park in California.

Link to article from non-BASE jumper: BASE Jumping in Yosemite
    • Permits in Yosemite did not actually start until 1980 as seen below.
      • need to re-visit this entry.

May 1, 1979

Ralph Presgrave base jumped from El Capitan. Ian Davis (or Davies) & Bob Althrop, both Brits were on the load.

August 1, 1979

The first jumper off the New River Gorge Bridge was Burton Ervin.
Burton's jump numbers were only in the high 30s when he decided to attempt a jump off the bridge. Burton jumped a conventional North American Aerodynamics Mini Rig System with a 32 foot Lopo canopy.


December 17, 1979

Chris Bramhill and Mike Henderson as well as British jumpers Rob Colpus and Geoff Sanders jumped from El Capitan, USA

July 1, 1980

National Park Service (NPS) issues first legal BASE jumping Permits.

Twelve (12) permits issued per day for jumpers to jump from 7:30am until 8:30am each day.


September 9, 1980

National Park Service (NPS) bans BASE permits and BASE Jumping in Yosemite National Park.

November 8, 1980

First Bridge Day BASE Jumps made in West Virginia by Dennis Wood, Miguel Fernandez, Ken Hamilton, Andy Macintyre, and Bob Wolf are the first five jumpers to legally jump the bridge on Saturday, November 8, 1980.


BASE Magazine, Published by Carl Boenish, BASE #5 Six issues were published all in the same year. This was the very first BASE magazine. The early issues covered cliff jumping mostly, the later ones covered all the BASEs and was instrumental in helping launch Carl’s BASE numbering system we still use today.

January 18, 1981

Phil Smith was awarded B.A.S.E. #1.

April 11, 1981

William Harmon was the first fatality in modern BASE Jumping. [3]

February 22, 1982

Wayne Allwood, an Australian skydiving accuracy champion, parachuted from a helicopter over the Sydney CBD and landed on the small top area of Sydney's Centrepoint Tower, approximately 300 meters (980 ft) above the ground. Upon landing, Allwood discarded and secured his parachute, then used a full-sized reserve parachute to BASE jump into Hyde Park below.[1] Video footage is included in the Australian Base Associations' 2001 video compilation, Fistful of F-111.

June 7, 1984

Carl Boenish, “Father” of BASE jumping, is killed on the Troll Wall, Norway. This was the 7th BASE Fatality. [3]

1986 - 1988

BASELINE Magazine, Published by Phil Smith, BASE #1, The longest running of them all, this was probably the best known BASE magazine as well. In the last year or two, Andy Calistrate joined to help Phil. The early issues were informative and useful. The later issues weren't as helpful, but the were fun to read in a weird sort of way. Andy later steered the magazine toward the darker side of BASE jumping.

July 25, 1986

The Troll Wall has also gained notoriety as a favorite haunt of BASE jumpers. It was one of the sites where BASE jumping was pioneered in the eighties, until Norwegian authorities made BASE jumping from the Troll Wall illegal on July 25th, 1986.

Summer 1986

As detailed in
BASELine Vol1 Issue 1 Summer 1986 Page 3 and 4
Square Parachute Line Over Malfunctions By Mark Hewitt
The line release mod was first envisioned.


JUMP Magazine, Published by Nigel Slee, BASE #? (see note below) This magazine was published in England. At the time the British Parachute Association is still banning folks for life when they are caught BASE jumping. Photos in the magazine sometimes sported blackouts over the jumpers eyes and faces just like something out of 1920s porno books.


Steve Dines (Australian) BASE 157 Made the first jump from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.[1]

1989 - 1994

The FIXED OBJECT JOURNAL, Published by Nick Di Giovanni, BASE #194. This was around longer than most but didn't produce as many issues as some of the others, about 8 in all.


Russell Powell (British) BASE 230 illegally jumped from the Whispering Gallery inside St Paul's Cathedral London. It was the lowest indoor BASE Jump in the world at 102ft [4]. [1]


In 1990 Australian Mark Scott BASE# 165 / OZ BASE # 13 / SA BASE #1 made the first BASE Jump off London's Canary Wharf Tower 4 days before the topping out ceremony. [5]

January 18, 1991

Earl Redfern was awarded B.A.S.E. #300.

Auguest 26, 1992

On 26 August 1992, Australians Nic Feteris and Glenn Singleman climbed Great Trango and then BASE jumped from an elevation of 5,955 meters (19,537 ft) on the Northwest Face, landing on the northern side of the Dunge Glacier at an altitude of 4,200 meters (13,779 ft). This was the highest starting elevation for a BASE jump on record to date.

November 1, 1994

Jamie Cardo receives B.A.S.E. #400


The BASE Newsletter, Published by Gerald Harendza, B.A.S.E. #57

September, 1997

BASE #500 Issued to ???

October 9, 1999

Dennis McGlynn begins 3 month jail term after being convicted of a class B misdemeanor for BASE Jumping in Lake Powell Recreational Area resulting in a fatality. Dennis was not at fault for the fatality, but prosecutors cited Mr. McGlenn as organizing the week long event where multiple jumpers where engaging in BASE Jumping into Lake Powell.

Paul Thompson was fatality #30 BASE Fatality List on January 1st 1994.
This is an experienced skydiver who went along on a week long BASE trip as ground crew. Later in the week he expressed an interest in making a BASE jump himself. His jump resulted in a wall strike. He is pulled from the water and later he died. This jump resulted in manslaughter charges and law suits between jumpers and Park Service officials. The jumper's contention is Lake Powell is legal for sea-plane landings so should be legal for parachute landings as well.

July, 1999

Earth World Record: 24 people exit together from Kjerag, Norway. [6]

October 22, 1999

Yosemite National Park Protest held to end NPS discrimination.


Hannes Arch and Ueli Gegenschatz were the first to dare a BASE jump from the imposing 1800-metre high north face of the Eiger.[1]

February, 2001

BASE #666 Issued to ???

October, 2001

Bridge Day not held for 1st time since 1980 when Bridge Day began. The cancellation was due to the security concerns after the September 11th terrorist attack in the United States. Bridge Day 2002 resumed the annual event.


Old Span World Record (Broken by 21-way) 19 people exit together from the Perrine Bridge, Twin Falls, Idaho, USA. [6]


Old Building World Record (Broken by 30-way) 26 people exit together from the Ostankino Tower, Moscow, Russia. [6]


Building World Record (Overall World Record) 30 people exit together from the Ostankino Tower, Moscow, Russia. [6]

March, 2005

BASE #1000 Issued to Matt Moilanen of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

September, 2005

Span World Record 21 people exit together from the Perrine Bridge, Twin Falls, Idaho, USA. [6]

May 23, 2006

The current Guinness World Record for a BASE jump starting elevation is held by Singleman himself and partner Heather Swan for a jump from 6604 meters (21,667ft) from Meru Peak in northern India on 23 May 2006. [6]

June 18, 2006

Mario Massato became the 100th fatality in BASE Jumping. [3]

April 2008

Hervé Le Gallou and an unnamed British man (given the alias Dave Donaldson) infiltrated Burj Khalifa, and jumped off a balcony on the 155th floor. They evaded arrest following their successful jump. However, on a second attempt two days later, Le Gallou was caught and subsequently detained in Dubai for three months. [7] [8] [9]

June 2008

First 'World BASE Race' Competition held in Romsdalen Norway


First base-jumping championship in Spain from the Gran Hotel Bali. More than 30 jumpers from all over the world. Maximum winner Klaus Renz.


three women—20 year old Melody Morin, 28-year-old Venezuelan Ana Isabel Dao, and 32-year-old Norwegian Anniken Binz[8]—base jumped from Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world. Ana Isabel Dao was the first Venezuelan woman to jump off Angel Falls. [10]

January, 2009

BASE #1300 Issued to ???

April 18, 2009

Kurt Meyer jumped from the bridge called "El Incienso", becoming the first person to make base jump in Guatemala.

January 8, 2010

Nasr Al Niyadi and Omar Al Hegelan, from the Emirates Aviation Society, broke the world record for the highest building BASE jump after they leapt from a crane suspended platform attached to Burj Khalifa's 160th floor at 672 metres (2,205 ft).[FOOTNOTE]Highest base jump-Nasr Al Niyadi and Omar Al Hegelan sets world record. Retrieved 2010-01-09.

July, 16, 2010

Tyler S. Stimson was the 150th fatality.[3]

April/May/June (?) 2011

BASE #1500 Issued to Who...???

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h iCitation needed
  2. ^Russian edition of GEO magazine, issue 11, November 2006, GEO
  3. ^ a b c dBASE Fatality List
  4. ^Records
  5. ^Xtreme Sports Photography (Xtreme Series) RotoVision (publisher) Simon Fraser (Author), ISBN 2880467551, Chapter on Photographing BASE Jumping by Doug Blane. October 2004
  6. ^ a b c d e fRecords
  7. ^Caesar, Ed (8 March 2009). "The Men Who Fall To Earth". http://www.edcaesar.co.uk/. The Sunday Times. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  8. ^Tom Spender (24 November 2008). "Daredevils jumped off Burj Dubai undetected". The National. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  9. ^Jan Bednarz; Robin Schmidt, Andy Harvey, DMC, Hervé Le Gallou (2008). "World record BASE jump". Current Edge. Current TV. Retrieved 4 January 2010. Video documentary about the jump from the Burj Dubai tower.
  10. ^"El Nacional Todo en Domingo". Impresodigital.el-nacional.com. Retrieved 2010-05-18.

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