US skydiver Luke Aikins has become the first person to jump from 25,000 ft (7,620 m) without a parachute, landing safely in a net setting a world record 2016.
Taking only a few moments to regain his composure, Mr Aikins dusted himself off, clambered out of the net and jumped into the arms of his very relieved wife, Monica.
The leap, which was broadcast by Fox, was watched by other members of the family and a crowd of well-wishers packed into an improvised spectator stand in the California desert.
After 18 months of preparation, the Screen Actors Guild almost put a spanner in the works by insisting that he wore a parachute for the stunt as a precaution.
However following further negotiations, which continued while the plane was climbing to the jumping altitude, the Guild had a change of heart and the requirement was lifted.
Mr Aikins said the need to wear a parachute would have made the jump more dangerous because of the need to adjust his position as he approached the net.
The idea was first dreamed up by a friend and physiologist, Chris Talley, about two years ago, and initially Mr Aikins – the father of a small son – turned the proposal down.
But having changed his mind, Mr Aikins went through months of intensive physical training, shedding more than two stone as he readied himself for his big leap.
The jump itself was schemed to almost the last foot. He jumped out of the plane at 25,000 feet, shed his oxygen mask at 18,000 feet.
The last bit of the jump entailed flipping over onto his back a couple of seconds before landing in the net. It was completed to perfection.
“I am almost levitating. It is incredible what has happened,” Mr Aikins said afterwards. “It is awesome.”
David Millward via The Telegraph | MindZFeed via You Tube | Photos: telegraph.co.uk
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