Those of us who play it safe in life could probably learn something from Luke Aikins. One of the best skydivers in the world Aikins has made a total of 18,000 jumps in his life. He’s set world records, trained elite divers, and performed stunts in movies… But his most recent project takes things to another level.
He’ll be the first person ever to jump 25,000 feet without a parachute or wingsuit and (hopefully) land safely.
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“I’m trying to treat it like just another jump,” Aikins told CBS Los Angeles.
Well, we’re not convinced that’s possible since all the other jumps have had that handy parachute there, but what do we know?
When speaking to U.S. News and World Report, he mentioned that he thought the idea was crazy several years ago when some Hollywood producers pitched him the idea in an attempt to create an epic reality T.V. stunt. He recalled the conversation he had with his wife at the time:
I said, ‘You won’t believe these guys. They want me to jump out without a parachute.’ She said, ‘Oh, with a wingsuit.’ I said, ‘No, they want me to do it with nothing.’ We both had a good laugh about that.
Turns out, the producers planted the seed in his head— and he had to try it out.
As far as qualifications go, Aikins couldn’t be better prepared.
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The forty-two-year-old has a lifetime of experience skydiving. He made his first jump at age twelve and her first solo jump at age sixteen— and he’s done around eight hundred jumps a year since then.
Aikins has previously taught skydiving, worked with skydiving instructors, and even done some stunts for Iron Man 3. The guy knows what he’s doing.
And there are some safety measures in place.
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Aikins will drop into a literal safety net— one that is about a third of the size of a football ball and twenty stories high. Allegedly, the net will provide sufficient space to cushion his fall while ensuring we won’t bounce out.
And he doesn’t take this endeavor lightly; he has a wife and a four-year-old son to come home to after the jump. “If I wasn’t nervous I would be stupid,” he told U.S. News And World Report. “We’re talking about jumping without a parachute, and I take that very seriously. It’s not a joke.”
Don’t worry, there have been some ‘rehearsals’ for the big event.
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During test runs (with parachutes) at the drop location, Aikins has landed in the same spot seventy-three times in a row.
…Here’s to hoping it happens a seventy-fourth time.
Yes, you’ll be able to watch the jump (if you dare).
Fox will be broadcasting the two-minute jump live at 8 p.m. EDT on Saturday. We recommend watching with a drink and stress ball in hand.
So, why do this?
“To me, I’m proving that we can do stuff that we don’t think we can do if we approach it the right way,” Aikins answered.
…Fingers crossed. (h/t us news and world report)