Skydiver becomes first to freefall into net without parachute | News | DW | 31.07.2016
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Skydiver becomes first to freefall into net without parachute

In a death-defying feat, a skydiver in the US has become the first to successfully jump out of a plane and into a net without a parachute. The stunt, which took place in California, was broadcast on live television.

Skydiver Luke Aikins became the first person to successfully skydive out of a plane and into a net without a parachute on Saturday, a stunning feat caught live on Fox television.

The daredevil, who runs a skydiving school in Washington state, fell from 25,000 feet (7,600 meters) and hit a net about one-third the size of a football field at 120 miles per hour (193 kilometers per hour) in Simi Valley, California.

The more than two-minute freefall ended with Aikins flipping in the air before landing safely on his back, welcomed by a cheering crowd.

"I'm almost levitating, it's incredible," said Aikins once he was safely on the ground. "The thing that just happened. The words I want to say I can't even get out of my mouth. All of these guys, everything that made it happen ... It's awesome."

An airplane and helicopter pilot, Aikins made his first tandem jump when he was 12. The 42-year-old daredevil has made nearly 18,000 jumps, trained elite skydivers and performed numerous stunts in movies.

In 2012, Aikins helped Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner train for his record-breaking jump from a small space capsule 24 miles (about 40 kilometers) above the Earth's surface in New Mexico, in which he broke the speed of sound.

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Skydiver completes highest-ever jump without parachute

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