No wingsuit, no airbag, just a net.
Veteran jumper Luke Aikins started the challenge from a jaw-dropping 25 000 feet over California’s Simi Valley Saturday afternoon, Pacific time. The 42-year-old American had been preparing for the stunt for over 18 months, with a live broadcast on TV for thousands to watch on.
His saviour was a 100-by-100 foot net suspended 20 stories above the ground, by no means an easy target when starting from such a height. Several times during his descent Aikins can be seen practicing the roll onto his back for the landing, which had to be timed perfectly.
His oxygen mask was removed at 18,000 feet by his fellow jumpers who stayed with him until the last possible moment. Last minute regulations tried to force Aikins to wear a parachute even though he wasn’t intending to use it. His argument was that it would be more dangerous for him to have a parachute on his back for the landing than to not have it.
“If I wasn’t nervous, I’d be stupid” Aikins was quoted before the jump. Watch the madness unfold above.