LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 13) - Luke Aikins is about to make a leap of faith. And no matter how it turns out, the daredevil parachute jumper will land in the history books.
Aikins plans to jump from an airplane at 25,000 feet Saturday night – without a parachute or wing suit – and he’ll do it on live television.
And, yes - he’s completely aware of how crazy it sounds.
“If I wasn’t nervous I would be stupid”, he said with a grin on his face, adding, "We're talking about jumping without a parachute, and I take that very seriously. It's not a joke”.
FOX will broadcast the two-minute jump live at 8 p.m. Saturday night, as part of an hour long TV special called "Heaven Sent."
Aikins will be wearing nothing but the clothes on his back when he jumps from the plane with the goal of becoming the first person to land safely without a chute.
Breaking his fall will be a giant net, 20 stories high and about one-third the size of a football field. The net should be high enough to cushion his fall, without allowing him to bounce out of it – or, as in the case of a test dummy recently, crash right through it.
“That was not a good thing to see”, said Jimmy Smith, a Hollywood PR veteran who helped sell the show to FOX.
Aikin shrugged it off.
“No biggie”, he said. “That's why we test."'
Aikins has 18,000 jumps under his belt. All of them with parachute. When he jumps without one Saturday night, he’ll fall to earth at 120 miles per hour. But why do it? For Aikens, the answer is simple.
“I’m trying to show that it can be done ... if we approach it the right way,” he explained.
Let’s hope they get it right. "Heaven Sent" can be seen on FOX 13, live Saturday night at 8:00 p.m.