The grieving mum of a New Zealand wingsuit pilot killed
in an accident in Switzerland said her son ''died doing what he
Dan Vicary (33) died along with Ludovic Woerth, of France,
when they jumped from a helicopter for a wingsuit flight in
an alpine valley at Sengg, Switzerland.
A third man was seriously injured in the incident.
Mr Vicary's mother, Diane Peterson, of Christchurch, told the
Otago Daily Times the family was ''proud of our boy''.
He grew up in Invercargill and went from climbing trees, to
BMX and motocross racing, to completing more than 6000 sky
dives, 750 basejumps and 450 wingsuit flights.
''He wasn't frivolous or careless, he was planned and
calculated ... something went dreadfully wrong on Saturday.''
The family had an understanding of the cause of the accident,
''Accidents happen and it was an accident,'' she said.
Following his death, her first reaction was to go to
Switzerland, but the family was planning to hold a memorial
service for him in Invercargill on Saturday.
Mrs Peterson planned to fly to Switzerland to spend time with
his wife, Lisa Hutchins, and to bring his ashes back to New
Zealand where they would be scattered in ''the mountains and
Mr Vicary returned recently to New Zealand to do a current
affairs show for 3rd Degree, spending a week filming
The show will screen tomorrow.
Mrs Peterson said ''we had an amazing visit'', with a
condition of his return being that he spend time with his
mother in Christchurch.
''We had a lovely dinner together and he shared his future
dreams and hopes and he did not ever want to be a statistic.
''He said 'I want to fly safe, I always want to fly'.''
Mr Vicary featured in an ODT article when he saved
dozens of people after a tsunami while he was working as a
dive instructor in Sri Lanka in 2004.
After the tsunami struck, he took a rescue line and hauled 30
floundering people to safety.
''Either you help or you run, pretty much,'' he said.
Following his deeds with the tsunami, he told his mother he
wanted to be a skydiver.
''As a mum I used to say: 'Why isn't my son an accountant?'
... and I dreaded that call. But I knew that he was careful
and he was living his life, and died doing what he loved.''
• A wingsuit is an aerodynamically designed jumpsuit with
fabric webbing between the legs and under the arms to enable
• A parachute is used for a safe landing.
• New Zealand base jumper Alan McCandlish died after a fall
in Switzerland in 2012.