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24/11/2014

He’s busted ribs, wrists, feet – don’t break the plane, Ivan

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Krazzy times: Ivan Krippner has swapped his motocross bike for the Actionflite Red Bull plane
New Zealand’s own Evel Knievel has ditched jumping houses on motorbikes to take adrenaline junkies on wild rides through Queenstown skies.

Ivan Krippner, aka Krazzy Ivan, gave up his stunt motocross career after one too many injuries – and a chance encounter with local aerobatics company owner Wayne Jack.

Jack was landing his private aircraft in a Waikato paddock when he spotted Krippner sailing about 20 metres in the air over a house on a motorbike.

Stuntman Krippner, also an aerobatics pilot, exchanged numbers with Jack after hearing of his Queenstown business Actionflite.

“After my last two-week holiday in Waikato Hospital, where I nearly had my right foot amputated, I thought it might be a good time to give up my career as a motocross rider,” Krippner says.

“I’ve been flying all my life with my parents who were pilots and I’ve had a private pilot’s licence for 20 years and was a national aerobatics champ at 18.

“Getting a job flying with other people means I can now share what I’m really passionate about.”

The 37-year-old daredevil was a member of the FMX Krazzy Freestyle Motocross stunt team, and after taking the sport up at 30 he secured a national title within a year.

Krippner turned his Waikato home into a practice pad by erecting a freestyle ramp launching him 15-20m in the air. “There are not many guys who can say they can jump their own house.”

His rapid progress to the top wasn’t without a string of injuries – in his first six months, Krippner broke feet, ribs, wrists, and suffered two haematomas and two concussions.

He’s the first to admit he’s by no means the best motocross rider and often made hometown headlines for his close scrapes.

During the 2005 Dargaville Field Days, Krippner dropped 14m out of the air while performing a 45m jump – he couldn’t walk for several days.

“I don’t do mediocre,” he says.

“I treat flying the same – I’m always fizzing after a flight and this [Pitts Special] aircraft is like the world’s greatest rollercoaster.”

Actionflite has been operating since 1994 and with the addition of Krippner now has three pilots.

The plane takes thrillseekers through Wakatipu skies at speeds in excess of 300kmh, experiencing G-forces of up to +6 and -3.

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