Luke Aikins has achieved a hell of a lot during his career as a skydiver. Not only has he completed 18,000 parachute jumps, he’s trained the world’s elite skydivers and performed stunts in Ironman 3.
Now he’s topped it all off by skydiving without a parachute. No, that’s not a typo, he’s genuinely just jumped out of a plane at 25,000ft without a parachute in California and survived.
He was actually forced last minute to wear a parachute by the Screen Actors Guild but with just eight minutes to go before he jumped, he decided to take the chute off and go it alone. There had been rumours he was extremely pissed off that he’d been told to wear one for safety reasons.
25,000 feet, no parachute.. Luke Aikins is a legend!!? pic.twitter.com/txyeDk6NFm
— adam (@Dr_Mines) 31 juillet 2016
Once dropped, he aimed for a net about a third the size of a football pitch that a 91kg test dummy had previously plummeted right through – thankfully for Luke, that didn’t happen to him!
It is completely fucking mental. I’m not going to sugar-coat it. It’s properly nuts. Luckily, there is actually a shred of sanity in this story and that’s because Aikins knew it was totally crazy to begin with.
“If I wasn’t nervous I would be stupid,” he told The Guardian prior to the jump. “We’re talking about jumping without a parachute and I take that very seriously. It’s not a joke.”
The net that caught him was about a third the size of a football pitch and around 20 stories high, supposedly providing enough of a cushion for a man falling from 25,000ft. It’s been described as similar to a fishing trawler net.
The ridiculous stunt was organised by Jimmy Smith, a veteran Hollywood PR guy and his partner Bobby Ware. They were introduced to Aikins by a mutual friend and now here we are at the end of it all being able to say ‘a man jumped out of a plane at 25,000ft without a parachute and survived’.
Apparently when they all watched the test dummy crash through the net, Aikins simply said:
“No biggie, that’s why we test.”
The stunt was being carried out at an old movie ranch just north of Los Angeles where Transformers was filmed. Thank god this stunt didn’t bomb like that franchise did.
Hats off to Luke Aikins, the first man to jump from a plane at 25,000ft with absolutely no intention of using a parachute… and surviving.