Wingsuit flying is the sport of flying the human body through the air using a special jumpsuit, called a wingsuit, which adds surface area to the human body to enable a significant increase in lift. Modern wingsuits, first developed in the late 1990s, create the surface area with fabric between the legs and under the arms. A wingsuit may be referred to as a birdman suit, flying squirrel suit or bat suit.
A wingsuit flight ends with a parachute opening, so a wingsuit can be flown from any point that provides sufficient altitude to glide through the air, such as skydiving aircraft or BASE jumping exit points, and to allow a parachute to deploy.
The wingsuit flier wears parachute equipment designed for skydiving or BASE jumping. The flier deploys the parachute at a planned altitude and unzips the arm wings, if necessary, so they can reach up to the control toggles and fly to a normal parachute landing.
BASE jumping is one of the world's most dangerous recreational activities, with overall fatalities in 2002 estimated at about one fatality per sixty participants. Another study reported the fatality risk as 1 in 2,317 jumps over the period 1995-2005 in Norway only.