bfl-390

BFL# : 390 (8th of the year)

Name: Kim Ofte Gonsholt

Date: August 15th, 2020

Nationality: Norwegian

Location: Skala, Loen, Norway

Object Type: Earth

COD: Impact in flight

Clothes / Suit: Wingsuit Squirrel CR+ Base Version

Gear / Parachute: Adrenalinbase/Atair

Age: 26

Skydive Experience: Unknown

BASE Jumps: 250

WS BASE Experience: Unknown

Years/Seasons in Base: 2 seasons

Time of day: 20:30 (8:30pm)

Other factors: Unknown

Exit Altitude: 1850m ASL (6069 feet)

Conditions: Light wind from NW,10 degrees - sunny

Wind on exit: 2-3mps Anabatic

Description: A group of three jumped one by one. Kim jumped as number three. The two first jumpers landed at the bottom (50masl). Kim was never seen. Reports are that he hit the ground with fatal consequences halfway through the flight. Police are investigating the accident, and it is likely that Kims video can be analysed by an experienced wingsuit Basejumper in a week from now. Kim was also wearing a flysight that can provide valuable information searching answers. We therefore hope to have a solid report within a few weeks.

UPDATED 3RD JANUARY 2021:

Report: Kim Gonsholt’s fatality at Skåla,
15th July 2020 at 20:35

Gonsholt jumped as the last of a group of three. All three jumped solo. Separation between
jumper one and two was 65 seconds. Between jumped two and Gonsholt separation was 12
seconds. It was the first time for Skåla to be base jumped.
Equipment:
Jumper 1: Squirrel WS Aura 4
Jumper 2: Phoenix Fly Sukhoi 2020
Jumper 3: Squirrel WS CR+ (Base version)
Conditions:
Low sun straight into the wall. Light laminar winds from north west (straight into the wall). 1
– 3 mps anabatic push. Light anabatic push throughout the whole flight line towards landing
area.
Location:
Skåla, 1852masl. Exit point is at 1835masl.


There are two landing options: Bottom of the valley, large field at 40 masl or halfway down
at a river aprox 900masl. Distance to the bottom landing area is 4,5km, while distance to the
other landing are at 900m is 1,7km.

Exit:
Critical point is 90/30. Solid rock to stand on and the wall is clean and open.
Before jumping, a reference point at approximately 370/600 along the line was identified. If
this point was not reached with good horizontal speed, the plan was to abort an attempt to
reach bottom valley landing and rather fly to the river at 900masl. Both first jumpers flew to
the bottom landing at 40masl. This report is written by jumper 1. Report writer flew by
reference point in good speed and therefore chose to fly all the way down. Only report
writer and Gonsholt was wearing camera.


This is the description of Gonsholt’s jump, based on Flysight data and POV from GoPro Max:
After 100m vertical, he had flown 41m horizontal. After 200m vertical, he had flown 140m
horizontal. At 400m vertical he had covered 610m, his horizontal speed was 165kph with a
glide ratio (GR) of 3,1 (this was 20sec into the flight). This put him below the critical inflight
reference point with at that point 165kph horizontal speed. He chose to keep on flying
towards the bottom landing. Altitude from this point until the end of flight was between 3-
15 meters. After 30 seconds his horizontal speed was 145kph, at 40sec – 135kph, at 50sec –
125kph, at 60sec – 109kph and finally at 68sec – 81kph. Gonsholt emergency pulled after
70sec of flight, impacted on line stretch and died immediately. Observations from video
shows his configuration to be fully stretched, top to toe, with neutral to light anhedral arm
setup throughout the flight.


Skåla has been discussed for years by many experienced wingsuit pilots, but never jumped
before, for obvious reasons. It was finally opened after several recce hikes and a long wait
for perfect conditions. Gonsholt has performed around/above 200 wingsuit BASE jumps and
was known for substantial talent with impressive dynamic skills and high-speed lines. His
experience in exit opening was low. The two other jumpers have together more than 40
years in BASE jumping and a history of opening exit points going back to the early 2000’s.
So why did this go so wrong?
Critical control questions about experience level, skills and overall awareness was never
asked. Recent history of impressive achievements perhaps made it less natural to put on the
caring mentor hat towards Gonsholt. The ability to understand when to bail flight seems
challenging. It’s clear from GPS data and POV camera that the higher landing area was the
only option for survival. He impacted just halfway down, and it is not getting steeper from
that point and downward. We knew this in advance. The trail to the top is going up where
you fly down. It is a demanding GR to the very end.
It is easy to sit in front of a computer with GPS and camera data, and analyze what could
have been done differently, and so hard in freefall.
The joy on landing lasted for one minute. After that, Skåla as a wingsuit exit, turned into a
very different story. But, truth is that both jumpers had a bad gut feeling hanging under
canopy. Skåla was just as marginal, and maybe even more, than it was assessed to be in
advance.
Kim Gonsholt was 26 years old and lived in his campervan travelling around jumping when
he was home from off-shore work. It was a setup that allowed him to jump a lot and
therefore have a steep learning curve.
He made an impact with his big smile and 100 % commitment to reach as far as he could in
the sport. He would have wanted all of us to see this report, just as he carefully read all BASE
Fatality List reports to learn and be safer.
Kim will be deeply missed.

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