On a wingsuit and a prayer, flying over the Grand Canyon.

Dr. Glenn Singleman and his team of pilots will fly over the Grand Canyon in April, They plan to make the world’s first wingsuit crossing.
Wingsuits are gravity-powered gliders that help propel their pilots/wearers during flight. Resembling something between a flying squirrel and a snow angel, the wingsuit allows skydivers and BASE jumpers to leap out into the void, spread their arms and soar through the air. In a sense, wingsuit flying is a cross between skydiving and hang gliding. While hang gliders can coast in for a safe landing, wingsuit flyers have to deploy their parachutes and float the rest of the way to the ground — they simply can’t reduce their speed fast enough for a safe landing without the use of a chute.
The suits have a glide ratio of 3-to-1, which means they travel forward at three times the speed they descend. To complete the Grand Canyon flight safely, the team has to exit the launch plane from 30,000 feet — the cruising altitude of a commercial airliner. Once the team exits the plane, the flight down lasts only from five to seven minutes. Each suit has 19 minutes’ worth of oxygen in its wings as redundancy.
In preparation for the Grand Canyon, Singleman’s team, have been in training. They successfully completed the world’s first wingsuit flight over Brisbane, Australia, on Sunday. Previous efforts have included a flight over Sydney Harbour and a hot-air-balloon jump over the Australian outback. They jumped from Mt. Meru in India. It took them three weeks to climb the mountain and just three minutes to fly down from it.
While it just looks like people in squirrel suits, the technology is incredibly sophisticated. The oxygen is supplied through military-grade masks normally used by fighter pilots. On the helmets, Sena Bluetooth communication devices used by motorcycle riders let the team talk to one another during the flight. A FlySight GPS device “speaks” to the pilot through the speaker system, giving them information on glide ratio. There’s also an altimeter to deliver audio cues when they reach set heights, so they know exactly when to release their parachute.
Not only do the flyers have to concentrate on all the equipment needed to complete the record-breaking attempt, flying over one of the world’s most iconic locations presented its own series of regulatory challenges. It took a year to get all the necessary clearances. Singleman’s team has a six-minute window in which to complete its jump on April 7: between 7:38 and 7:44 a.m. local time precisely.
For those of us who will never experience the sensation of wingsuit flight, Singleman said it’s transcendental. “You get into that trancelike state, and you’re flying!”
Source: c/net, adventure.howstuffworks.com

briservOn a wingsuit and a prayer, flying over the Grand Canyon.