Talk about a leap of faith.
When skydiver Luke Aikins jumped out of an airplane from 25,000 feet on Saturday night, he attempted a jump was unlike any other before it: He didn’t have the aid of a parachute or wingsuit to guide his fall.
Crazy? Yes. But it also set a record, as Aikins became the first skydiver to make a leap from that high without a chute.
“Whenever people attempt to push the limits of what’s considered humanly possible, they’re invariably described as crazy,” Aikins told CNN. “But to me, this jump is simply the next logical step in a lifetime of extreme challenges.”
The only thing standing between life and death for Aikins was a 100′-by-100′ safety net on the ground—and he had to land on it perfectly to survive the jump.
Aikins was joined on his freefall by three other skydivers, but they all deployed their parachutes 3,000 feet, leaving the 42-year-old to stick the landing alone. Just before hitting the net, Aikins rolled onto his back midair to ensure he’d land safely in the right position.
The crowd in California’s Simi Valley down on the ground exploded in applause after Aikins landed on the net. Although he laid motionless for a few moments after the jump, Aikins was able to hop up once he was lowered to the ground, officially finishing the record-setting attempt.
Aikins, who hit speeds over 150 mph during his jump, looked like he had a blast on his way down.
But for everyone else: Don’t try this at home.