Skydiver to Jump From 25K Feet With No Chute

Luke Aikins' stunt will be broadcast live on Fox Saturday
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2016 7:22 AM CDT
Skydiver to Jump From 25K Feet With No Chute
In this photo from Monday, skydiver Luke Aikins jumps from a helicopter during his training in Simi Valley, Calif.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

An hour-long live TV special on Fox Saturday will lead up to two holding-your-breath minutes in which a veteran skydiver will leap out of a plane at 25,000 feet (no biggie) without something one usually needs for such a jump (kind of a biggie): a parachute. Per the AP, Luke Aikins won't be wearing a wingsuit, either, when he takes the 120mph plunge just north of LA, landing in a 10,000-square-foot net that's 20 stories high. That's high enough so he won't hit the ground, but also designed so he (hopefully) won't bounce back out. Still, "if I wasn't nervous, I would be stupid," he says. Six months of prepping seem to have gone generally well, the Independent notes, though one test run with a 200-pound dummy didn't end as expected: The dummy crashed right through the net.

The Washington state resident initially turned down the parachute-less idea when it was pitched to him by Hollywood PR man Jimmy Smith and partner Bobby Ware two years ago. "Like any normal, sane person I said, 'Thank you but no thank you. I have a wife and a son and I've got a life to live," he tells People. "Then, two weeks went by and I kept waking up in the middle of the night thinking, if somebody said you had to do this, how could it be done?" The 42-year-old definitely has experience under his skydiving harness: He's made more than 18,000 jumps since his first tandem at age 12, has trained other top skydivers (including daredevil Felix Baumgartner), and served as a stuntman for Iron Man 3. The Heaven Sent special will air live with a tape delay on Fox at 8pm EDT Saturday. (An Oklahoma teen survived a 3,500-foot skydiving fall.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.