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US skydiver jumps without parachute from 25,000 ft

IANS  |  Washington 

An American man, Luke Aikins has become the first person to jump from 25,000 ft (7,620 metres) without a parachute, landing safely in a net.

Aikins -- who has more than 18,000 jumps under his belt -- fell dead centre into the 100x100 ft net in Simi Valley, southern California, BBC reported.

During the two-minute fall aired live on Fox television, the 42-year-old reached the speed of 120 mph (193 km/h). He hugged his wife and young son after climbing out of the net.

"I'm almost levitating, it's incredible," he said after Saturday's jump.

"This thing just happened! I can't even get the words out of my mouth," he said, admitting that he was nervous before the jump.

Aikins also admitted that he had nearly had to cancel the jump because he was ordered to wear a parachute for safety and this would have made his landing more dangerous because of the extra weight.

However, the organisers lifted the ban just minutes before the jump.

"Aikins' leap represents the culmination of a 26-year career that will set a personal and world record for the highest jump without a parachute or wing suit," his spokesman Justin Aclin said.

Aikins, who is a safety and training adviser for the US Parachute Association, said his friend came up with the idea two years ago.



First Published: Sun, July 31 2016. 18:48 IST