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US Skydiver Completes 7,600-Meter Jump Without Parachute

In this Monday, July 25, 2016 photo, skydiver Luke Aikins smiles as he jumps from a helicopter during his training in Simi Valley, Calif.
US Skydiver Lands 7600 Meter Jump Without Parachute
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An American skydiver has survived a 7,600-meter jump from an airplane, although he did not use a parachute.

Luke Aikins dropped into a huge safety net on Saturday after falling for about two-minutes over the desert in California.

Aikins reached a speed of 193 kilometers per hour during the jump. He fell safely into a 30-meter by 30-meter net. Cranes held the net about 65 meters over the desert floor.

Aikins became the first-ever skydiver to land safely without a parachute.

The 42-year-old husband and father has jumped out of planes many thousands of times. But never once had he left a plane without a parachute. Aikins said he was nervous before this jump. “We’re talking about jumping without a parachute,” he told reporters. “I take that very seriously. It’s not a joke.”

Aikins prepared for two years to make the jump. Three skydivers with parachutes made the jump with him. They video recorded the event and carried equipment Aikins needed, like an oxygen mask. He removed the mask after falling about 2100 meters.

Aikins rolled in the air just moments before he hit the net so as to land on his back. The net stretched deeply.

The skydiver did not move for several seconds as the net was lowered to the ground. Then, Aikins stood, waved his arms and hugged his wife.

I’m Caty Weaver.

The VOA news staff wrote this story. Jim Dresbach adapted it for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

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Words in This Story

nervousadj. having or showing feelings of being worried and afraid about what might happen

stunt mann. a man who takes an actor’s place during the filming of stunts and dangerous scenes for a movie or TV show

oxygen maskn. a mask worn over your nose and mouth so that you can breathe oxygen from a storage tank