You either have to be really brave or really crazy to go skydiving. Jumping out of a plane that is soaring thousands of feet above the earth is not something most people are willing to do. Still, there are people who enjoy it and do it over and over again. While the people who are experienced with skydiving will tell you that it is safe, as long as it is done correctly, most people recognize the huge risk involved.
Every skydiver’s worst fear is having a parachute that won’t open.
A skydiver, Luke Aikins, decided one day that he would just jump without his parachute. He didn’t forget it; he was trying to break a record. He was successful, and he now holds the record for the first man to jump 25,000 feet from a plane and land safely without a parachute. It’s not a record that many people will attempt to break.
Aikins was caught by a giant net.
Still, nobody was sure what the pressure and impact would do to his body. He was falling at an incredible speed, and even though the net looked like it would provide a soft landing, the sudden stop could have been deadly.
Still, Aikins wanted to try it. He said,
“I’m going all the way to the net, no question about it. I’ll just have to deal with the consequences when I land of wearing the parachute on my back and what it’s going to do to my body.”
For the first 10,000 feet of the fall, he had to wear an oxygen tank to ensure that he did not pass out during the fall. Two other skydivers that were wearing parachutes also jumped with him.
One of them had a camera and the other was in charge of collecting the oxygen tank when he was finished with it.
He couldn’t land with the oxygen tank, and there was always a chance that it could end up in the net too, which could be catastrophic for him.
When he jumped, he said,
“I’m almost levitating, it’s incredible.”
The Screen Actors Guild had originally told Aikins that he was going to have to wear a parachute. He agrees to wear one but said he wouldn’t open it.
A few moments before he jumped he was told that they were no longer requiring him to wear one and he happily removed it.
He has jumped more than 18,000 times and as a stuntman has done work on movies like Ironman. Still, this attempt was a risky one, and if anything went wrong, he could lose his life.
He finally reaches the net successfully, and the video shows everything.
He is okay and thrilled to have survived his record-breaking attempt. He now has a world record and an amazing story to tell. He said,
“This thing just happened. I can’t even express how I feel.”
He had thousands of people watching him and rooting for him. He also knows that there were many children watching. While he definitely doesn’t recommend that anyone else try such a dangerous jump, he did post an inspiring message on Facebook, for all of his supporters and fans. He posted,
“My vision was always proper preparation and that if you train right, you can make anything happen.”
He also admits that he was a little worried before the jump. Once he had left the plane though, there was no looking back. He said,
“If I wasn’t nervous, I would be stupid.”
He said that a friend of his first came up with the idea for him to jump without a parachute a few years ago.
While the idea was tempting, he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. He said,
“I kind of laugh and I say, ‘Ok, that’s great. I’ll help you find somebody to do it. But it’s not for me. I’ve got a wife and son, and it’s really not for me.”
He managed to successfully make the jump, and his family was right there cheering him on at the end. He’s an amazing guy.
Watch the hair-raising video below.
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