BASE Jumper Dies Preparing for Championships

Victor Kovats was an experience wingsuit flier

Witnesses lost sight of Kovats after his parachute appeared to fail.     Photo: Evgeniya Moroz /Shutterstock

Three-time Hungarian national wingsuit champion Victor Kovats died Tuesday when his jump into a central China gorge went awry, the Associated Press reports.

After a search involving more than 200 people, Kovats's body was recovered Wednesday from the valley floor in Tianmen National Forest Park in Hunan province. Kovats had made the 700-meter jump into the gorge in preparation for the Second World Wingsuit Championship, held this weekend, when either sudden winds or a failed parachute caused him to crash head-first into a cliff.

The Red Bull World Wingsuit League, host of the championship, made a statement on its website: "We are deeply saddened by Victor Kovats's passing and our thoughts and prayers go out to his parents and friends during these difficult times," said 

Kovats had completed 700 jumps and was an experienced skydiver and base jumper. His death is the latest in a string of wingsuit fatalities, reports CNN, that includes Mark Sutton, the James Bond stuntman who parachuted from a helicopter during the 2012 London Olympics, who died in August during a jump in Switzerland.

Following the death of Kovats, organizers of the Second World Wingsuit Championship have not stated whether the competition will go forward.

Video of the flight before the crash was published on YouTube:

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