The stunt is nothing short of amazing. Luke Aikins is a skydiver who is a safety and training advisor for the United States Parachute Association, and last night, he became the first person to jump out of an airplane without a parachute or wing suit and survive the landing.
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Aikins, who has performed stunts on films such as Iron Man 3, is a experienced skydiver who has surpassed over 18,000 jumps in his career. He has now just set the world record for highest jump without a parachute or wing suit and survived. He was accompanied by three fellow skydivers and a GPS unit to help guide him to the net in the California desert.
Aikins made the jump at 25,000 feet; most people only jump at around 13,000 feet. To survive, he dropped into a 10,000 square foot net only a third the size of a football field. The 42 year old called the stunt “Heaven sent.” To accomplish this feat, Aikins had to direct his body in free fall using only the air currents around him to land safely into the net.
The jump was aired live in a hourlong special on the Fox network. Atkins fell for around two minutes while soaring effortlessly, arms extended, face downward through the California dessert. Nearing the ground, with mere seconds before he met the earth, he expertly flipped onto his back and landed without incident.
He then climbed out of the net and embraced his wife, Monica, who was among a cheering group of family and friends, including their 4-year-old son, Aikins’ dad, two brothers and a sister, who’d all anxiously watched the breathtaking spectacle. Aikins, who said during the broadcast that he’d been preparing for this jump for two years, has had extensive training and to further back his skills in the air he has provided advanced skydiving training to elite military special forces.
There was a tad of deflation in the excitement just as Aikins was climbing into the plane to make the jump when he said he had been ordered to wear a parachute but indicated he wouldn’t open it. According to The Associated Press, “as the plane was climbing to 25,000 feet above the drop zone, he said the requirement had been lifted and he took off the chute.” Nevertheless this is an amazing feat in the stuntman’s life and surely one he’ll never forget.