Frederic Fugen, Vincent Cotte and Aurélien Chatard flew by the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the World, on 11th October to achieve something that had never been done before. Titled the Taj Mahal Fly-by project, Red Bull Athlete Frederic jumped out of an A Cessna 172 airplane at altitude of 5000 feet about two kilometres away from the Taj Mahal, and using his wingsuit, he flew near by the monument to achieve something that had never been done before – an individual proximity fly-by. He flew by the Taj Mahal at a proximity of 510 metres, achieving a speed of 150kmph in the process. He then gained an elevation of about 50 metres before opening his parachute and landing in Gyarah Sidi (translates to Eleven Steps), the remains of an astrological observatory of the Mughal Emperor Humayun on the banks of the Yamuna River adjacent to the Taj.
The trio performed one jump on 11th October, evening and one more on 12th October, afternoon. The jumps saw them light up the sky with green and orange colours to create a beautiful aerial display as tourists and visitors to the Taj Mahal were left enthralled, highlighting India’s Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav celebrations.
Special thanks to
**The Government of Uttar Pradesh,
**The District Magistrate of Agra,
**Ministry of Culture, Government of India
**Archaeological Survey of India,
**Director General of Civil Aviation, Government of India
**Agra Tourism, Government of Uttar Pradesh
**Agra Police and
**Agra Development Authority (ADA)
Frederic Fugen is one of the most talented and innovative skydivers, wingsuit pilots and BASE jumpers on the planet.
As part of the Soul Flyers, a group of international athletes that perform wingsuit projects around the world, he has executed some truly incredible flights. Among his craziest projects have been Door in the Sky, when he jumped off a mountain peak and flew into an airplane; Sky Skiing, when he performed a 45-second ski routine in the sky before landing and skiing down a mountain; Flying past the Pyramids of Giza, when he conducted a wingsuit flight super-close to the pyramids; BASE jumping off Burj Khalifa, when he performed the highest-ever BASE jump and parachute off a building; and many others.
Recently, Frederic came up with the idea of a project around one of the country’s most iconic monuments – the Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage site, celebrated as one of the 7 Wonders of the World. And he achieved this feat on 11th & 12th October 2022. Joining Frederic on this project were frequent collaborators Vincent Cotte and Aurélien Chatard, who have been part of some of his best-known aerial projects in recent years. The thrilling moments were captured by renowned sports videographer Dino Raffault, who has captured many of Frederic’s projects and has also been part of Hollywood productions where aerial filming has been involved.
On why Taj Mahal in Agra, India was chosen as a location for this project, Frederic Fugen commented, “Well, Taj Mahal is one of the wonders of the world, and it’s just amazing for us to be able to fly our wingsuit around there, to practice and showcase our sport above and around such a beautiful landscape. So, it’s been a very, very huge opportunity to be able to do it.”
On flying close to the Taj Mahal, Frederic Fugen added, “We feel that it’s a great honor. It’s a very big, big privilege to be able to fly here, it’s very special. I know it’s never been done before, so I feel very happy to share this joyous moment with my friends as well, to do it as a team. We would like to thank everybody, all the people who helped us to make it happen, and of course, the team from Red Bull India because it’s been a great collaboration and a lot of work to make this dream come true.”
Being seasoned wingsuit pilots, Frederic, Vincent and Aurelien had all the experience and expertise needed to pull off this project. But as they say, every project and location are different from the other, and none are without their challenges. And so, the wingsuit athletes made sure that their safety, the safety of their team, and that of everyone around the monument was of utmost importance.