Video: Skydiver Jumped From 25,000 Feet Over Simi Valley, Without A Parachute
If you have an aversion to heights, you might want to stop reading now, because even just imagining this second-hand could spur on a case of vertigo.
On Saturday, skydiver Luke Aikins became the first person to successfully jump from a plane without a parachute after he launched himself out of a plane over Simi Valley, 25,000 feet in the air, and landed safely on a net below.
According to KTLA, Aikins, who worked as a stuntman on Iron Man 3 has made close to 20,000 parachute jumps, which sounds like a lot!
But on Saturday, in the stunt called "Heaven Sent," Aikins ditched the (relative) protection of a parachute, and instead "had to direct his body in free fall using only the air currents around him to land safely on the high-tech 10,000-square-foot net (about a third the size of a football field) laid out to catch him," as NPR notes.
KPCC writes that actual air time of the jump, which was aired on a Fox special, lasted about two minutes as he fell to earth. According to the New York Times, at around18,000 feet, Aikins "removed his oxygen mask and passed it to one of the three parachuted assistants diving with him." When you see him doing this, it looks extremely casual and practiced, too...it's kind of unsettling! As he neared the net below, he was guided by GPS and lights, and flipped over onto his back just seconds before landing.
Aikins said that he'd been preparing for this jump for two years, and that he's been skydiving since he was 16 years old. Here he is talking about his strategy before the jump:
Congrats to Aikins for realizing his dream that is quite literally one of my nightmares.