(SIMI VALLEY, Calif.) — Luke Aikins has safely landed 18,000 parachute jumps so far in his 26-year career, but the elite daredevil is seriously upping ante in his latest stunt.
The 42-year-old aerial expert and third-generation skydiver will jump out of an airplane at 25,000 feet over Simi Valley, California Saturday evening with nothing but the clothes on his back.
Aikins will free-fall without a parachute for two minutes in an attempt to become the first skydiver to land safely in a net.
During the 126-second fall, twice the height as a normal dive, Aikins will rely solely on his body and wind currents to land on a 100-by-100 foot net suspended 20 stories above the California desert.
Aikins says he is aiming for a specific spot “right in the middle” of the target, an area one-third the size of a football field.
The net will be suspended some 200 feet above the ground, providing enough stretch to soften his landing without leaving room for the daredevil to bounce out.
Aikins completed his first tandem jump at 12-years-old and over the last 30 years has helped train some of the world’s most elite skydivers. He also worked as a stuntman for Marvel’s Ironman 3 film.
In the last six months, Aikins has made over 200 practice jumps as part of a meticulous planning and preparation routine that he says will allow him to pull off the daring jump safely.
Aikins said he has a special motivation to make it to the ground in one piece.
“I mean, I got a wife and a son,” he said, adding that his family will be waiting on the ground for him in Simi Valley Saturday. “I plan on being here for a long time, being a pain in his neck.”
All of Aikins’ practice adds up to the big moment Saturday night on live television. The event dubbed ‘Heaven Sent’ will broadcast on Fox at 8:00 p.m. EDT.
Two of the four cases are in Miami-Dade County while the other two are in Broward County. None of the four individuals has traveled to Zika-affected areas. Sexual transmission has not been ruled out.
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