US skydiver makes 7,600m jump without parachute
AMERICAN Luke Aikins leapt into the void at 25,000 feet (7,600m) on Saturday with no parachute or wingsuit, becoming the first skydiver to land safely on the ground in a net.
He spent a year and a half preparing for the death-defying feat, plummeting at 193kmh in Simi Valley in California.
Fox television broadcast the two-minute jump live on an hour-long reality TV special.
"Pay attention to the science and the math behind this.
"And we'll show you what's possible," said Aikins, 42, who runs a skydiving school in Washington state, just before taking off.
There was a lot of method behind his madness: He has made more than 18,000 skydiving jumps.
In all those years, he needed to use his emergency chute on 30 occasions.
Also an airplane and helicopter pilot, he made his first tandem jump when he was 12.
Back on the ground, with his wife and family, he seemed stunned at his feat.
"I'm almost levitating, it's incredible.
"The words I want to say I can't even get out of my mouth...
"It's awesome," he said.