Birdman crashes into mountain, puts it on YouTube

Jeb Corliss, the man who BASE-jumps in a specially designed wing suit, crashes into South Africa's Table Mountain, somehow survives, and now releases a YouTube video of the fun.

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I suppose that once you've decided to call yourself Bird Man, you tend to suffer from an excess of self-belief.

So if you decide to don your technologically superior wing suit and shoot yourself off South Africa's Table Mountain, nothing can possibly go wrong, can it?

Yes, you might be flying along at up to 300 mph. But you're Jeb Corliss. You're Bird Man. You're indestructible.

This is true, in so far as Bird Man is still alive. However, as this film--posted this week to YouTube--shows, sometimes you hit things. Like mountains.

When you do, your wonderful suit--more of a flying squirrel design than any actual flying bird--can do nothing to prevent you from, well, breaking a whole lot of bones.

If you can watch this film (which isn't entirely for the conservative), you may find yourself wincing as his lower half smashes into rocks.

ABC News managed to chat to Corliss, who still remains hospitalized in South Africa, but should be released tomorrow.

Corliss has jumped more than a thousand times. But none, perhaps, caused quite this reaction in him.

He told ABC News: "One part of my brain was just going through this concept of fly, fly, fly, fly, keep going, keep going. And then the other part of my brain was like going, well, why even pull at all, basically you're dead, dude."

Basically, in fact, he broke most of the bones in his legs.

You might be wondering, though, what might have been the cause of this mid-air nastiness. Look no further than Corliss' Facebook page: "Well the answer is very simple. I was flying to close and messed up :) I was going for a black balloon that was basically laying on the rocks and was going to try and kick it with my foot."

I suppose in human flying circles, this might be called exuberance.

Still, Corliss would like you to know that he was really thinking quickly as he flew along here. In order to kick the balloon, he said: "I had to fly low and flat between boulders. My left foot clipped a boulder that dragged me into a flat ledge that I took at the waist at full speed."

The lovely thing is that Corliss is so in love with his flying and the technology that allows it, that he is prepared to die.

"This is not my first time getting hurt and it will not be my last. I push it, always have and always will. One day I will die and I just hope that when I do, it will be doing something I truly love," he told his Facebook fans.

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET
 

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