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London Olympic opening ceremony stuntman who parachuted in as James Bond dies

Mark Sutton

FILE In this July 27, 2012 file photo, British stuntman Mark Sutton, parachuting into the Olympic Stadium, dressed as James Bond, during the Olympic Games 2012 Opening Ceremony. The British stuntman who parachuted into the London Olympics opening ceremony as James Bond has been killed in an accident in the Swiss Alps while flying a special wing suit. Online extreme sports broadcaster Epic TV says Mark Sutton died during a gathering it had organized involving 20 wing suit pilots who were being filmed as they jumped from helicopters. Swiss police confirmed that a 42-year-old Briton died Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, in a fall near Trient in the Valais region. (AP Photo/PA, Lewis Whyld, File) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE


The stuntman who portrayed James Bond parachuting into the London Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony last summer died in a wing-diving accident Wednesday.

Mark Sutton, 42, crashed into a Swiss Alps mountain ridge after jumping out of a helicopter from more than 10,000 feet in the air, according to Swiss police via NBC News.

“Mark was a very experienced pilot,” said Trey Cook, editor-in-chief for Epic TV, which organized the event. “Conditions were good yesterday and people had been flying extremely conservatively in the practice flights, but unfortunately this is a sport where there is very little margin for error.”

Wing-suit flying involves flying through the air in a specially designed device that adds surface area to the human body, enabling a significant increase in lift.

Sometimes referred too as “birdman” and “flying squirrel” suits, fabric is placed under the arms and between the legs, allowing users to simulate flying.

Danny Boyle, who directed the London Olympic opening ceremony, paid tribute to Sutton in the Evening Standard.

“The show was built from so many contributions from so many people, none finer and braver than Mark Sutton’s,” Boyle said. “On behalf of everyone in the show we were all honored to have him worked with him and to have known him as a friend and a professional.”

In the opening ceremony, Sutton and another stuntman portraying Queen Elizabeth II parachuted in above the Olympic Stadium after the famous video of Bond greeting the Queen (and her corgis) at Buckingham Palace.

Below is the video of the Bond-Queen opening ceremony scene that was such a hit at the opening ceremony.

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