Sebastian Alvarez, a former pilot of the Chilean Air Force, became the first man to fly in and get out of an active volcano in a wingsuit. It was the first time anyone even tried to do it, but Alvarez says it’s taken him a lifetime to prepare for this.
This 36-year-old pilot chose Chile, his homeland, and its most active volcano Villarica to be the center of his jump. He admits that this was the most extreme and complex project he ever encountered, especially when it comes to mentally preparing for it.
According to his records, it has taken over a year of complex calculations, and over 500 practice jumps to perfect every aspect of the central jump. To complete the jump, Alvarez had to jump from a helicopter at 2.2 miles of altitude in order to reach the speed of 176.5 mph necessary to manage to fly out of the crater.
During his preparations, he focused on perfecting a wingsuit technique called flaring. This means that he had to estimate the amount of vertical speed he needed to manage to transfer it into the horizontal speed necessary to get in and out of the volcano.
Alvarez is open about the complexity of his feelings and the rational fear he had to overcome in the process. However, he says that there are many more ideas in his mind waiting to be implemented.