We’ve been waiting for this. As the New York Times “Flying” article clearly predicted, it was only a matter of time. Now, it’s happened.
On Wednesday, May 23, veteran stuntman Gary Connery jumped out of a helicopter 2,400 feet above the ground and hit earth, intentionally, without deploying his parachute. It was the first ever successful wingsuit landing without a parachute, a feat that has hit the world at large and the tight wingsuit community by surprise.
“It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in my life,” Jeb Corliss tells the New York Times, after Connery completed the successful wingsuit landing. He and a host of other wingsuiters more famous than Connery had been plotting such a stunt for years. None had been able to put all the pieces together.
For Connery, those pieces included more than 18,500 cardboard boxes stacked 12 feet high and linked together in a landing strip as long as a football field. The boxes served their purpose and Connery’s calculations proved correct. Just moments after crashing into the boxes at highway speeds, Connery emerged from the cardboard unharmed.
“It was bliss,” Connery tells the Times. “It’s a special, humbling day.”
It’s a stunt certain to open up a whole new realm of possibilities for wingsuit pilots across the globe. We can’t wait to see what comes next.