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Video: 73-Year Old Dies After Jumping With Parachute On Fire

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A 73-year old man died after BASE jumping from a 500-foot bridge with his parachute on fire.

Jim Hickey of Claremont jumped from the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho on May 7 as part of a stunt where he would detach from the burning parachute in mid-air before deploying a second parachute. Unfortunately, a video taken by a witness shows that Hickey was immediately engulfed in flames and was unable to land safely in the Snake River (a second BASE jumper in the video lands safely):

Warning, the video may be disturbing to some

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A Twin Falls-based BASE jumper told told the Times-News that Hickey had performed the same stunt before, but from a plane.

Although Hickey was a very experienced skydiver, wingsuit flyer, and BASE jumper, he got into the extreme sports very late in life. According to the Claremont Courier, he took up skydiving in 2007, when he was in his mid-60s. In his first two years he racked up almost 2000 jumps, usually going 10 times a day. "It's fun and exciting. And it elevates my mood. All my senses are being engaged. It's exhilarating," he said.

In 2009 he was featured in a V8 ad campaign that showed people past the age of 60 living life to its fullest. In the video, he explains he first took up skydiving because of an interest in BASE jumping—he couldn't buy the equipment until he had at least 100 skydive jumps:

BASE jumping, an extreme sport where parachuters or wingsuit divers jump from extremely tall structures or cliffs, is popular at the Perrine Bridge, which is the possibly the only man-made structure in the country where it is "tolerated." The acronym BASE stands for "building, antenna, span, and earth," the four types of fixed objects from which one could jump.

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BASE jumping comes with the additional risks of lower altitudes and being in the proximity of the fixed objects. Over the weekend, two people died in Yosemite while BASE jumping. When Hickey was just getting into BASE jumping, none of those dangers would stop him, as he told the Claremont Courier, "Bring it on."