Army officer to attempt BASE jump record

Lt Col Satyendra Verma, captain of the Army's skydiving team, will take the leap from atop the 235-metre-tall tower and this would be the first BASE jump ever in India, Army officers said here today.

BASE stands for Building, Antenna, Span (Bridge) and Earth and this advanced form of free fall jump is a major sport around the world. Verma, with over 1,100 skydivings to his credit, is an experienced BASE jumper and had achieved the feat earlier from the telecom tower in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Perrine Bridge in the US.

The jump would be attempted as part of the Corps of Signals' centenary year celebrations this year. For the jump, the Army had earlier carried out a technical study of the site and found that the feat was possible, given the Pitampura TV tower's location beside the Delhi Development Authority's cricket ground.

In this form of extreme, adventure sport, the jumper takes a free fall off the tower, but carries an unopened parachute. As the jumper approaches the ground, the canopy opens up for a safe landing.

"This sport is attempted only by experienced skydivers to ensure that the jumper completely understands the concept of body positioning in free fall and is capable of immediate and suitable response to any canopy malfunction," the officers said.

BASE jumping is significantly more dangerous than similar sports such as skydiving from an aircraft and is regarded by many as an 'extreme sport'. BASE numbers are awarded to those, who have made at least one jump from each of the four categories -- buildings, antennas, spans or bridges, and Earth (such as mountain cliffs).

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