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Parachute friends devastated at death of stuntman

Friends and work colleagues have paid tribute to Olympic stuntman Mark Sutton.

Jackie Harper, a friend and fellow member of the Army Parachute Association at its skydive base in Netheravon in Wiltshire, said:

Mark was an expert wingsuit pilot, very highly regarded by everyone here at Netheravon. He was very generous with his time and giving help and advice to others.

We are devastated and send our condolences to his family and friends. We are really going to miss him.

RBS, where Mr Sutton worked as a contractor in the Markets division, offered "condolences to his family" and said everyone at the bank's "thoughts are with them at this very difficult time".

Stuntman's family travel to Swiss Alps after fatal crash

The family of Olympic stuntman Mark Sutton are understood to have flown to Switzerland following his death in a wingsuit flying accident.

His partner Victoria Homewood, though, is believed to already be there having reportedly travelled to Chamonix with him a few days ago.

The repatriation of Mr Sutton's body is expected to take a few days.

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Olympic stuntman likely to have crashed at 125mph

Olympic stuntman Mark Sutton's injuries from his fatal crash in the Swiss Alps have proven so severe that experts could only identify his body with a DNA test.

Mountain police said the daredevil wingsuit pilot was likely to have been flying at around 125mph (200kmh) when he hit the ridge. Investigators are examining if thermal winds played a part in his crash.

We do not know what caused his death but we know it was immediate. The weather was good but when a pilot takes part in this sport, the aim is to fly very close to the ground or mountain side. If you do this at speeds of 200kmh, the margin for error is very small.

– Jean-Marie Bornet, of the Valais police service

Police said Mr Sutton is the first wingsuit pilot to die during a jump in the Valais region.

YouTube tribute to Olympic stuntman Mark Sutton

A video in tribute to Olympic stuntman Mark Sutton has been posted on YouTube today, showing footage from his previous wingsuit jumps in Norway, Italy and Switzerland.

Mr Sutton, who stood in for Daniel Craig in the opening ceremony's jump into the Olympic Stadium, died in a wingsuit flying accident yesterday while on a trip making extreme sports videos in the Swiss Alps.

On August 10, Mr Sutton posted a message and pictures on Facebook, saying: "The sun comes out for a beautiful day in Chamonix, two base wingsuit flights from Brevent then a spectacular paraglide with Mont Blanc and the glaciers glistening in the background."

Danny Boyle pays tribute to 'gentle' Olympic stuntman

Danny Boyle has said the reports of Mark Sutton's death in Switzerland was "such sad news". Credit: Suzan/EMPICS Entertainment

The mastermind of last year's Olympic opening ceremony, Danny Boyle, has paid tribute to the event's James Bond stuntman Mark Sutton as a "gentle and thoughtful" man following his reported death in a wingsuit flying accident.

Mr Boyle told the Evening Standard: "The show was built from so many contributions from so many people, none finer and braver than Mark Sutton's.

"On behalf of everyone in the show we were all honoured to have him worked with him and to have known him as a friend and a professional."

He added that Mr Sutton's death would be a "huge loss to his profession" and said "all our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues".

Wingsuit death came during extreme sports video trip

Swiss police have said the fatal wingdiving accident occurred among a group who were in the region as guests of a company that makes extreme sport films for the internet.

Although police have yet to confirm the victim's identity, he is understood to be Olympic stuntman Mark Sutton.

Police, though, said: "The victim, a Briton, was 42 years old. He was staying in Chamonix (in France) with 20 followers, considered among the best in the world in this discipline."

Tributes have been paid to Mark Sutton, including from his close wingsuit colleague Gary Connery, following his reported death. Credit: YouTube/Mark Sutton

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Swiss police confirm Briton's death in wingsuit jump

Swiss police have confirmed that a 42-year-old British man has died after a wingsuit jump close to the French border.

The Valais canton said the man, understood to be Olympic stuntman Mark Sutton, jumped with a friend from a helicopter above the Grandes-Otannes area.

Swiss police have issued a photo of the area of Trient where London 2012 stuntman Mark Sutton is understood to have died. Credit: Valais Police Department

Police said the pair jumped from a height of 10,826ft (3,300m) at around 11:00am yesterday and had planned to land close to the hamlet of Le Peuty, near Trient.

They said a preliminary investigation suggests that he hit a ridge.

Olympic stuntman was 'smart, articulate and funny'

Wingsuit expert Gary Connery has told The Sun that his fellow Olympic stuntman Mark Sutton was "smart, articulate and funny", adding:

In any sport where you share a common bond you can make friends in a heartbeat that last a lifetime. My relationship with Mark was like that.

As well as teaming up for London 2012's opening ceremony, the pair also worked together on Mr Connery's successful maiden jump without a parachute, which made headlines around the world in May 2012.

Parachutist's stunt buddy sent out safety warning

The stunt parachutist who played the Queen to Mark Sutton's James Bond during the Olympic opening ceremony warned of the dangers of sky jumps yesterday:

It is unclear if Gary Connery's message was sent before or after Mr Sutton's reported death.

Olympic parachutist was experienced with wingsuits

Olympic parachutist Mark Sutton's reportedly fatal accident is understood to have happened on the first day of a three-day wingsuit event near Martigny, in the Valais canton, near the French border.

Mr Sutton had been very experienced in using the special jump suits, which increase the surface area of the body and act like a parachute wing, allowing users to glide through the air at high speeds.

A video on Mr Sutton's YouTube account shows him in several wingsuit flights, including this one near Riva del Garda in northern Italy in August last year, which he introduces with a reference to Team GB:

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