Each year there are about three million skydiving jumps made in the United States. A lot of those people, as they step out of the plane, are probably hoping with all their might for a smooth trip with a parachute that opens like it should. Luke Aikins, on the other hand, forgoes the chute all together.
In California’s Simi Valley, Aikins recently made a jump that has been deemed a world first. In that jump, he plunged towards the Earth from a height of 25,000 feet. Initially others were on the same course alongside him, but they eventually pulled their chutes for a slower landing. Aikins himself came in hot at 120 miles per hour, having achieved terminal velocity.
To enable such a feat, a landing net was in place. This target, only 100 x 100 feet in size, was all that stood between him and certain death. Staying on course during a 25,000 foot free fall is no easy task due to various wind directions encountered on the way down, but he nailed it without issue.
At 42 years old, Aikins has 18,000 skydives under his belt and this is not likely to be his last.
“Whenever people attempt to push the limits of what’s considered humanly possible, they’re invariably described as crazy,” said Aikins to CNN. “But to me, this jump is simply the next logical step in a lifetime of extreme challenges.”