By Joe McFarlane
A professional wingsuit pilot took to the skies in order to soar like a bird above a plane.
The prospect of plummeting through the air from 15,000ft may turn most people green, but for 39-year-old full-time wingsuiter Espen Fades, when he was approached to fly through the skies alongside a plane, he literally leapt at the chance.
The native Norwegian travelled to the Algarve in Portugal last month to film fellow daredevil wingsuit flyer Daniel Ossio as he flew under and over a soaring plane.
Hovering above the plane, in the footage Daniel swiftly moves alongside the tip of the wing, lining up perfectly with the nose-diving aircraft.
Within seconds, the aerial adrenaline junkie floated under the plane until he was in touching distance of the plane’s wheels.
Espen said: “Daniel Ossio, the wingsuit flyer in the video, wanted to carefully fly close to an airplane.
“Daniel asked me if I wanted to join in and of course I couldn’t turn down the offer, it was the experience of a lifetime.”
The jump required precise timing and co-ordination between all the flyers and the pilot of the plane as the smaller mistake would have resulted in fatal disaster.
Espen, who started wingsuiting in 2001, said: “The airplane seems much bigger and more scary when in free fall next to it, but it actually flew very stable – like a rock.
“I got the chills as we entered the airspace under the wing. Any mistake there would have been serious. Let’s just say I was extremely focused.
“I remember thinking, ‘wow, we can do this. This is insane’.
“To fly with an airplane like this is doable, but only for those who are highly experienced in flying in tight formations.
“We kept on ‘hanging out’ with the airplane until 5,000 feet, then separated, opened our parachutes and landed on a designated area.
“It was good fun.”