A 42-year-old skydiver made history on Saturday, July 30, when he became the first person to jump from an airplane without a parachute and land in a net instead.
Luke Aikins plummeted from 25,000 feet above the Simi Valley desert in California, landing in a 100-by-100 foot net at the Big Sky movie ranch. According to CNN, he completed the landing at 120 mph following a two-minute freewill.
Moments before hitting the safety net, Aikins rolled over onto his back to land in the right position. As supporters erupted into applause and cheered for the skydiver, he climbed out of the net and hugged his wife, Monica, and their 4-year-old son, Logan.
“I’m almost levitating. It’s incredible!” the stuntman said, according to the Associated Press. “This thing just happened! I can’t even get the words out of my mouth.”
The incredible stunt was broadcast live on Fox on Saturday during a special titled Stride Gum Presents Heaven Sent.
Aikins jumped from the plane with three other skydivers, all of whom were wearing parachutes. One skydiver had a camera, another trailed smoke so people on the ground could follow Aikins’ descent and the third one took an oxygen canister Aikins handed off after reaching an altitude where it was no longer needed.
Prior to jumping, Aikins, who has completed more than 18,000 jumps during his career and served as a pro stuntman in Iron Man 3, admitted he was nervous and said his mother wouldn’t watch the TV special.
Later on Saturday, Aikins thanked his supporters for helping him complete the successful jump with a series of photos shared on his Facebook page.
“We did [it] and cannot thank everyone enough for the support,” he wrote. “My vision was always proper preparation and that if you train right you can make anything happen. Thank you!!!!”
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