The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

October 20, 2012

Catapult to add more thrills to Bridge Day

FAYETTEVILLE — As if jumping off an 876-foot bridge wasn’t scary and exciting enough, some thrill seekers will get some help from a catapult during this year’s Bridge Day.

Jason Bell owns the company that coordinates BASE jumping at the annual event in Fayetteville.

A mechanical engineer, Bell designed and built a 2,500-pound steel catapult that will launch parachutists on Saturday. The catapult will be available to only a few dozen highly experienced jumpers. As of Friday afternoon, there were seven slots still available for $99.

Bell said the catapult will hurl jumpers 20 feet vertically and 50 feet horizontally from a steel chair.

As part of their payment, jumpers will be allowed multiple jumps from the catapult and will receive a copy of a video taken from the top of the catapult chair. Catapult users were required to attend a training session on Friday.

BASE jumping involves parachuting from bridges, buildings or other fixed objects. BASE jumping from the New River Gorge Bridge is only permitted on Bridge Day.

According to the Bridge Day website, Bell got the idea for the catapult after watching one used in Switzerland. A similar device is used on the ABC show “Wipeout.”

The Bridge Day catapult was tested in August and September. A tentative schedule calls for at least two people to be launched every 30 minutes starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

BASE jumpers also can leap off the bridge the conventional way, and there’s a zipline available to them for the seventh straight year. The zipline stretches 700 feet down from the bridge’s beams to Fayette Station Road.

More than 300 rappellers from 22 teams also will be descending up and down the bridge, a Bridge Day tradition since 1992.

The weather forecast for Fayetteville calls for a chance of showers in the morning with highs in the mid-50s.

For people who don’t plan to attend, the state Division of Tourism has partnered with the Bridge Day Committee to offer live streaming of the BASE jumping from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Bridge Day is the largest extreme sports event in the world and draws thousands of visitors to the New River Gorge,” said Tourism Commissioner Betty Carver. “For those not able to attend this year’s event, we are excited to offer live footage of all the fun.”

———

Online:

Vertical Visions: http://bit.ly/TyhzjZ

Bridge Day: www.officialbridgeday.com

Live video stream: http://bit.ly/PGKWp1

 

1
Text Only
West Virginia
  • Repairs set for I-77 tunnel

    Some lanes of an Interstate 77 tunnel along the Virginia-West Virginia border where a truck fire occurred are being rerouted for repairs.

    July 29, 2014

  • Veterans crisis center coming to Clarksburg

    The long delays for veterans seeking medical care at VA hospitals have prompted The American Legion to plan a short-term crisis center in Clarksburg.

    July 29, 2014

  • Weekend tornado confirmed in West Virginia

    The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in Pleasants and Ritchie counties over the weekend.

    July 29, 2014

  • Rahal: Fund VA reform ‘for our veterans’

     On the cusp of Congress’s lengthy summer break, factions sparring over legislation to strengthen health care and funding reforms for the Department of Veterans Affairs may have reached a compromise.
    Although final details are still in the works, the top two negotiators, Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., released a joint statement that said they had “made significant progress toward and agreement on legislation to make VA more accountable and to help the department recruit more doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals.”

    July 29, 2014

  • Attorney general reaches $950,000 settlement with three financial groups

    West Virginia’s attorney general has reached a $950,000 settlement with three companies over allegations of antitrust law violations.

    July 28, 2014

  • Woman convicted in teen’s slaying moved

    A Monongalia County teenager has been transferred to a state prison to complete her sentence for the slaying of another teenager.
    The Lakin Correctional Center near Point Pleasant said Friday Rachel Shoaf has been booked at the Division of Corrections prison. Shoaf turned 18 last month and had been held in a juvenile facility.

    July 26, 2014

  • Board suspends clinic operator’s license

    A West Virginia board Friday suspended the license of the operator of a pain management clinic where investigators found syringes were being reused. It was the second disciplinary action involving the doctor’s license within a decade.

    July 26, 2014

  • Candidates: Leave global warming debate to scientists

    Two West Virginia congressional hopefuls said during their first candidate forum matchup Thursday that the global warming debate is better left to scientists.
    Democrat Nick Casey and Republican Alex Mooney added that other countries should step up in reducing carbon emissions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lawsuit filed over Dirty Girl Mud Run

    A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn’t be issued refunds.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVa. man sues GM over wife's death

    A West Virginia man has filed a lawsuit against General Motors Corp., claiming a defective ignition switch in a Chevrolet Cobalt caused a 2006 accident that killed his pregnant wife.

    July 24, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads