How skydiver Luke Aikens planned to plummet 7,600 meters without a parachute

World Today

In this image made from a video provided by Mondelez International, Luke Aikins, center, skydives without a parachute over Simi Valley, Calif., Saturday, July 30, 2016. (Mondelez International via AP)

Luke Aikins jumped out of a plane 7,600 meters above the earth in California — without a parachute. He aimed for a net around a third of the size of a football field.

Jim Spellman reports.

How Luke Aikens planned to plummet 7,600 meters without a parachute

How Luke Aikens planned to plummet 7,600 meters without a parachute

Luke Aikins, preparing to jump out of a plane 7,600 meters above the earth in California -- without a parachute. He aimed for a net around the third of the size of a football field.
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It’ll take about two minutes to make it to the ground so while he’s falling, let’s look at how he prepared for this moment. He planned this jump for two years.

“I’ve been jumping for about 26 years. I have about 18,000 jumps,” Aikins said. “I’ve got to work on a lot of big projects where I’ve got to help with some engineering. So all that practice and all that training… basically my whole life has been building to something like this.”

He trained in a wind tunnel and used GPS to guide him to the target, while hurtling toward earth at nearly 200 kilometers per hour. High winds could send him off course.

“I have to counter it, so I have to drag on one side and force myself to drive into the wind a little bit and that wind changes in different layers all the way down,” he said.