SAN DIEGO – A Navy pilot from San Diego is lucky to be alive after jumping off a mountain peak in France in a wingsuit.
Eric Dossantos woke up in a French hospital after his wingsuit stunt failed in late September.
Dossantos, an avid base jumper, was wearing the suit when he jumped off a peak in Chamonix.
Video he posted online on Tuesday shows his descent from the mountaintop all the way down to his spectacular crash into pine trees.
Friends said the base jumper was traveling more than 100 mph when he crashed and his helmet camera captured it all. Rescuers found Dossantos about three hours after the crash.
Fellow base jumpers who visited the crash site a few days later found that Dossantos had flown through an 8-inch diameter tree trunk and snapped off the top 20 feet of the tree. The debris trail from the crash stretched over 300 feet among the pine trees.
Dossantos, said he's been skydiving for the past four years – totaling 900 dives and 550 jumps with a wingsuit.
Now, a month after the failed jump, Dossantos is sharing his story to help educate other base jumpers.
"If I can help even one person stay alive by not repeating my mistakes, it's worth the public confession of my less-than-stellar progression," he told Topgunbase.
"Can't believe I lived...." he posted on Vimeo.
"He’s one of like three people that has survived an incident like this," said friend and fellow base jumper Matt Blank "He's a very adventurous and calculated person who likes to live as much as possible."
But in what is an emerging sport, Blank said there's only so much calculating they all can do.
"Wing suits are rapidly being changed and new designs coming out all the time. All of us are test pilots. Now our mission is how do we educate everyone around us so this doesn’t happen again," he said.