All those who have ever jumped above the last existing ancient wonder of the world, the great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt, agree that this is the jump of a lifetime.
As the pyramids have been there for around 4.600 years, it might not be necessary to rush if you want to jump there, but seriously, this is something you want to do as soon as possible.
There is more than one provider offering jumps above the pyramids of Giza and other cool places in Egypt. The December 2021 event, called “Spread the Wings”, organized by Skydive Egypt offered an excellent opportunity.
Welcome to Egypt
While some skydivers prefer to stay in a mobile home at the dropzone, the organizer selected a nice 5 star hotel. So instead of the usual briefing in a less than clean training classroom, the briefing was held in a large ballroom. However, there was a significant disadvantage of staying in such a good hotel. Because due to the large buffets in the morning and the evening, some jumpers noticed that their jumpsuits started to shrink around the waist.
As there is only a helipad at the pyramids, the participants were transported to a military airbase near Cairo in buses that were beautifully labeled with skydiving scenes. However the moment one stepped off the bus this was forgotten in an instant, as the Hercules C130, the airplane for the event, was an overwhelming sight. Jumping a plane that easily swallows three times the jumpers of a Skyvan, is a pretty intense feeling. The hydraulic opening of the large ramp is the next impression that is engraved in one’s memory forever. Not to mention the view onto the Cairo metropolitan area with its 19.3 million inhabitants.
Behind the ramp, a luxury problem awaited the participants. Skydive Egypt had invited, what could justifiably be called, the most impressive line-up of load organizers that ever jumped the Egyptian skies. Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld, Martial Ferré and Doug Barron for belly flyers. The “vertical” fraction got a beautiful selection of load organizers, in the true meaning of the words, as Domi Kiger and Alethia Austin took care of the freeflyers. In the very flat flying section, revolutionary wingsuiters Marine and Vincent Descols completed the organizers lineup, while the top-notch camera crew consisted of Adrian Daszkowski, Gustavo Cabana and Ralph Wilhelm.
Jumping over the Pyramids
As said, this was a problem. Given the visuals that waited for the jumpers at the end of the ramp, some were tempted to do a solo belly jump, in order to first enjoy the view of the huge plane and then the view of an even bigger city and the pyramids. The load organizers took care of the “problem” by creating simple jumps, with few points, in order to give the jumpers time to look around. While on every bigway around the world, no matter if it is belly, head-up or head-down, load organizers hammer the phrase “Don’t look away from the base” into the participants, Dan BC gave the participants permission to look around in freefall and especially down. However you could read “Did I really say that?” on his face. Anyhow, there is a video proving that the master of large formation himself looked down in freefall to enjoy a one in a lifetime view. 🙂
Under the open parachute the overwhelming visual input continued. As the landing area was directly next to the pyramids and due to the pattern, the participants had to fly next to the ancient buildings.
The faces of all jumpers after landing could only be described with one word: priceless. The joy and the overwhelming optical input the jumpside gave the participants was described by most simply as the jump of a lifetime.
Vincent Descols, inventor of the wingsuit tandem, performed the first ever wingsuit tandem jump in Egypt. He also did a wingsuit flyby with his base rig next to the Cheops pyramid and finally hung loose with Domi Kiger, meaning they did a Wingsuit rope jump.
Jumping in Luxor
While for part of the group the adventure ended after jumping over the pyramids, another part had additionally booked some jumps in Luxor. Here the skydivers’ toughness was tested, as this group had to catch a domestic flight at 6 a.m. The hotel, also a 5 star place, was situated on an island in the middle of the Nile river, resulting in beautiful sunsets and more jumpsuit tightening food.
The first jump was above the river Nile onto that island, resulting in great views on the huge temple complex in Luxor. The military helicopter, an Mil Mi-17, could best be described as a Skyvan with a rotor. The biggest difference compared to a Skyvan besides the drive is the removed tailgate. As the pilots flew low over the city, the jumpers had an amazing view onto the city of Luxor and the temple complex.
The second jump was done over the ancient burial site of the Egyptian pharaohs, the Valley of the Kings and the Hatshepsut temple. As both sites were visited the day before while spotting the landing area, Domi Kiger and Marine Descols had the idea for a great video. Domi dressed up as ancient Egyptian queen Hatshepsut and Vince as god Horus for a tandem wingsuit jump, which landed directly at the Hatshepsut temple.
Buying the dress at a local store and bargaining with the shop clerk is another great story, but would go beyond the scope of this article. While the tandem pair came in rather slowly, Adrian Daszkowski, who is not only a skilled cameraflyer but also a competitive canopy pilot, came in rather hot when swooping the temple.
Wingsuit tandem over the Hatchepsut Temple
Skydiving over the Giza pyramids of Giza was, on that all participants agree, a once in a lifetime experience and something you should tick off your bucket list as soon as possible. The next occasion to “Spread the Wings” over 4600 years of history will be between 26th May and 10th June 2022. For more info please see Skydive Egypt’s site.
“Spread The Wings” 2021 photo album