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Luke Aikins Skydives 25,000 Feet into Net Without Parachute

Joe Pantorno@@JoePantornoFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2016

In this Monday, July 25, 2016 photo, skydiver Luke Aikins jumps from a helicopter during his training in Simi Valley, Calif. After months of training, this elite skydiver says he's ready to leave his chute in the plane when he bails out 25,000 feet above Simi Valley, Calif., on Saturday, July 30. That's right, no parachute, no wingsuit and no fellow skydiver with an extra one to hand him in mid-air. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Luke Aikins became the first person to skydive from 25,000 feet without a parachute, landing in a net set up in the desert of Simi Valley, California.

The name of Saturday's stunt was called "Heaven Sent," which has its own Twitter account

Aikins is 42 years old and had previously executed over 18,000 jumps. His father and grandfather were skydivers, and his wife also participated in about 2,000 jumps, per the Associated Press (h/t CBSNews.com).

He was justifiably excited after hitting the 100-by-100 foot net, per the AP: "I'm almost levitating, it's incredible. This thing just happened! I can't even get the words out of my mouth."

However, Aikins ran into a bit of trouble just before his jump, and it wasn't a technical problem. Because the jump was broadcast on Fox, the Screen Actors Guild "ordered" him to wear a parachute.

But Aikins disclosed that wearing a parachute would have made the turn onto his back just before impact with the net "far more dangerous." Luckily for him, the order was lifted, and he was able to go about the death-defying stunt as planned. 

While many sports fans are just hearing of Aikins for the first time, he was second in line to grab the world's attention four years ago. He was the backup jumper for Felix Baumgartner's skydive from space in 2012, which was 24 miles above the planet.

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Now that this stomach-churning display of fearlessness has been completed, Aikins can go back to being a safety and training adviser for the United States Parachute Association and jumping with a little more protection.