A skydiver made history when he jumped without a parachute and landed in a net.
Luke Aikins, who has in excess of 18,000 jumps to his name, performed the jump on Saturday. Without the aid of a chute, he landed in the center of the net after a two minute freefall.
“I’m almost levitating, it’s incredible,” Aikins said, hugging his wife Monica and four-year-old son Logan after he landed. “This thing just happened! I can’t even get the words out of my mouth.”
As reported by Deadline, the stunt was performed on a program called Stride Gum Presents: Heaven Stunt. However, the days leading to the jump saw unexpected changes. The production company was informed by the SAG-AFTRA that the stunt was too dangerous to be performed, and that Aikins will not be allowed to jump without a parachute.
A “Do Not Work Order” was issued by the union on Thursday, highlighting the issue that producers were not signatory to its contract. On the other hand, the producers said the union refused to sign, citing safety concerns. Had the producers gone ahead despite refusal from the union, stunt riggers, coordinators, and announcers could have been expelled.
“Less than 24 hours ago, I was informed that I’m gonna have to wear a parachute to do this jump,” Aikins said, as reported by Deadline. “That adds a complication that didn’t exist before. I was clean and I was gonna land on my back. The powers that be have decided that it’s safer for me to wear a parachute.”
While finding new substitutes would have been extremely difficult, it was decided that Aikins will wear a chute in order to perform his jump.
However, Aikins said that wearing the parachute canister on his back and landing on the net would be more dangerous. Pulling the ripcord would be difficult in that scenario. A few minutes before the plunge, though, Aikins was informed that the requirement had been repealed and that he could perform the jump without the chute.
Aikins jumped from the place without a chute, as reported by NBC Bay Area. Three skydivers wearing chutes accompanied him when he made the jump. One of them had a camera, another trailed smoke to allow people on the ground to follow his jump, and a third carried an oxygen canister.