Photo by Benjamin Forde | Fordesign
Since Saturday night, my Facebook feed has been lit up about Luke Aikins’, 25,000-foot jump (would we call that a skydive?).
The opinions of many skydivers have been varied from anger to amazement.
Regardless of whether you agree with this jump or not, was the Heaven Sent project good for our sport?
I believe it was great.
PEOPLE ARE TALKING
Not since Red Bull Stratos has the world been so focused on skydiving. My 65-year-old father watched Saturday’s jump with total fascination from his armchair and then called me right after. “Did I see that?” I have a sense that millions of people responded just as my Dad did. Though many will call Luke ‘crazy’, the jump has created a huge buzz on social media and the global news media. Good stuff if you’re in the business of skydiving.
In my opinion, Heaven Sent was better for skydiving than Stratos because it felt more like a skydive than a space odyssey. We got to see skydivers falling alongside Luke and it all looked impressive. Furthermore, the fact that Luke has over 18,000 skydives himself sends a message that this sport can be done safely.
On this Monday morning, people will return to work and this event will be part of the conversation, everywhere.
Heaven Sent featured on ESPN’s Sports Center… #1 on their Top 10 list.
MORE EXTREME THAN SKYDIVING
From a psychological perspective, I liked that this stunt was more extreme than a skydive. This stunt was (should be) a one off, but for those that were captivated and wish to experience what free fall feels like, the next best thing, and safest option is making a tandem skydive at your local DZ.
THE STUFF OF DREAMS
Point Break, the Bucket List, X-Games, and decades of James Bond scenes captivated our imaginations of flying and led people to dropzones everywhere. Like a five-minute free fall conversing with your friends, Heaven Sent will have an effect on thousands of viewers who watched Saturday’s jump in total awe. I believe many future skydivers will one day say they were inspired by this event.
How was your heart rate watching the jump? Mine was elevated and I imagine everyone else’s was as well. Watching this brought about a physical and emotional response as we all willed Luke to hit the net. It was a special kind of television event because we were so engaged by what we were seeing; there was a collective sigh when he landed safely. Watching an actual person perform this feat on live television created an emotional response that resonated with people in a way a cool skydiving scene in Ironman (or any Hollywood film) never could.
Luke Aikins is a great ambassador for our sport. For such a big stunt, he was measured, professional and represented us all really well. We met his family in People Magazine and got a sense of who he was. Had the person who did this stunt been immature and carefree, it would not have reflected well nor had the impact that it did.
Thank God this all worked out!
Luke’s awe-inspiring feat has the world talking about our sport and you can’t buy advertising better than that.
Well done Luke! We’re all so glad you made it!
What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below!