In film and television, we’re used to seeing heroes and heroines bravely leap from an airplane without a parachute and land safely. But in reality, it hadn’t been done until this past weekend!
On Saturday, Fox broadcast a one-hour special titled “Heaven Sent,” which chronicled the buildup to Luke Aikins’ attempt to jump from a plane at 25,000 feet without a parachute (or a wingsuit) and land safely in a 10,000-square-foot net. The jump itself, of course, was to be broadcast live.
It shouldn’t be too shocking to discover that Aikins is a veteran skydiver who is said to have participated in over 18,000 parachute jumps and stunts, including the scene in Iron Man 3 in which Tony Stark saved several falling civilians by linking them together in the sky. Aikins’ grandfather and father were both skydivers, and the Aikins family owns Skydive Kapowsin near Tacoma, Washington.
All of which is not to say that there wasn’t an element of danger to the stunt. But Aikins really did make it look easy as he maneuvered his body over the net.
Via NPR, Aikins explained the ins and outs of the stunt in a video posted by the Ventura County Star
Reportedly, the only drama ahead of this stunt occurred when Aikins was ordered to wear a parachute on the jump (that order was later rescinded) and when SAG-AFTRA objected to the special over safety concerns. But the jump went off without a hitch, and on live TV no less, and Aikins is comfortably in the history books as the first man to attempt and survive this feat.
What did you think about the Heaven Sent stunt? Take a flying leap into our comment section and share your thoughts below!
Image: Mondelez International and Russia Today/YouTube