As many a skydiver will tell you, one of the things that is feared most by someone participating in the dangerous sport is that, when he or she jumps from a plane in mid-air, their parachute fails to open leading almost certainly to their death. So, can you imagine someone jumping from a plane at 25,000 feet but purposefully not wearing a parachute and free falling to land in a large net above ground unharmed?
Well that is exactly what Luke Aikins did on the 30th July 2016. He is an American skydiver and completed the risky free fall in California landing safely in the huge net unharmed. He is the first person to have made such a decent from that sort of height and spent two years planning for the jump.
He is certainly an experienced skydiver, having completed in excess of 18,000 jumps over the years. For the first 10,000 feet of the jump he wore an oxygen mask and was accompanied by three other skydivers for part of the decent and, of course, those three all had parachutes that opened safely.
He was even filmed live on TV doing the jump that lasted for two minutes and was watched by his wife and young son from the ground. It must have been the longest two minutes of his family’s lives.
The net was hung from four tall cranes and measured 100 hundred foot square. There was a second net underneath the one he dropped into no doubt as some form of back up. Shortly before he fell into the net he turned over onto his back and made a safe landing.
Whilst Mr Aikins has no doubt been congratulated for breaking a record, this is probably not something that other skydivers should contemplate doing no matter how experienced they are. You can view a video of his decent on the Internet.