Stride Gum Gives Extreme Stunt Fans Something to Chew on with ‘Heaven Sent’
There are certain things everyone should avoid doing. Running with scissors. Swimming right after eating. Reading the comments section. But the one that really speaks to those of us who like being alive is “Don’t jump out of a plane without a parachute.” Yet, Luke Aikins is planning to do just that. Live. On Fox.
“I’m going to be jumping out of an airplane with no parachute and no wing suit,” previews the world-class skydiver. “Just the clothes on my back. Nothing like this has ever been attempted before.” Mostly because no one would ever think to do this. Except, apparently Amusement Park Entertainment’s Jimmy Smith, who hatched the plan for Heaven Sent with a little help from a scientific friend. “This goes back to 2014, when I turned to my homie and aerospace physiologist Chris Talley to help me come up with a dope stunt idea,” recalls Smith. “Chris came up with five ideas, but we never made it past the first one—a guy jumping out of a plane with no parachute and no wing suit. We had Luke in mind from the very beginning, but when we first told him the idea he literally laughed at us. Then he started thinking about it and talking to engineers and stunt people, and he realized that he could evolve the idea into something he felt he could do safely and with complete confidence.”
According to Smith, the final piece of the puzzle was finding a sponsor willing to join the madness. “Luckily, Stride Gum was looking to launch their new ‘mad intense’ gum, and there’s nothing on Earth more mad intense than what Luke is gonna do.”
So how does Aikins expect to land safely on the ground without a chute or aerodynamic wing suit? By aiming himself at a target called The Fly Trap. “It’s basically a 100-foot by 100-foot net that’s going to be suspended by four 200-foot cranes.” explains the extremist, who has been taking test jumps for weeks. “[The Fly Trap] sounds big, but from 25,000 feet in the air, I won’t be able to see it all. About one second before I hit the net, I’ll have to roll onto my back and the trap will then safe decelerate me.” Because this jump is happening at night, Aikins says the net will also be “outlined by lights like they have at airports, which will be white if I’m over the safety zone and red if I’m not. That will help me keep my bearings as I fall.”
As for the risks, Aikins is well aware and ready to take ’em on. “Of course there are risks. I’m jumping out of a plane without a parachute!,” he laughs. “My big nemesis in all of this is going to be wind…it is going to be working to push me sideways away from my target zone.” Still, Mother Nature doesn’t have him too worried. “I wouldn’t be doing this jump if I didn’t have complete confidence in myself and the team that’s helping me pull it off.
Given the chewable sponsor, it’s pretty fitting that he’s taking this whole thing in Stride, huh?
Stride Gum Presents Heaven Sent, Saturday, July 30, 8/7c, Fox