Wingsuit flyer captures jumps from around the world

Wingsuit flyer Brandon Mikesell flies through trees in Walenstadt, Switzerland. (Brandon Mikesell/YouTube)

For many people flying is just a dream, but for Brandon Mikesell it is what he dedicates his life to.

With deep determination, Mikesell was able to achieve his dream of flight by using a wingsuit. After years of training and preparation, he now flies at about 130 miles per hour, sometimes just a few feet above from the ground.

To become a wingsuit flyer Mikesell logged over 1,500 jumps over a six-year period. He started with skydiving and then learned BASE (building, antenna, span, earth) jumping. After logging hundreds of jumps, he began wingsuit flying. Mikesell shares his wingsuit experiences by attaching GoPro cameras to his suit and helmet and posting the videos on his YouTube channel.

"Most people consider me 'crazy' and an 'adrenaline junkie,' however this is the furthest thing from the truth," Mikesell told ABC. "I simply have a dream of flight and I know that in order to fulfill these dreams I have to overcome certain fears."

In his most popular YouTube video, Mikesell talks about overcoming his fear of embarrassment because of a childhood stuttering problem. Mikesell felt dismissed and misunderstood in school growing up. He hopes to use his flying videos as inspiration for people to overcome their fears and achieve their dreams.

Mikesell prepares thoroughly for all of his flights before he rolls the camera. He begins by researching terrain maps and laser measurements. He studies the terrain slope and creates routes that include safe outs. The first time he goes through a route, he travels high and away from the ground. He flies the route several times, flying closer to the terrain each time. After several jumps Mikesell rolls the camera to capture the jump.

Mikesell's favorite experience was flying between skyscrapers in Panama City. It was a rare opportunity to fly in an urban landscape. Mikesell cherishes his opportunities to explore and fly in places around the world.

"I hope to fly more amazing landscapes in new countries. I want to go and experience more beautiful lines, wherever that might take me."
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