Stuntman survives first-ever 2,400-foot skydive without parachute

Posted May 24, 2012 by Anne Sewell
Gary Connery, 42, is now the first man to jump 2,400 ft (731 meters) and land safely, without parachute, using a specially-designed wingsuit.
Gary Connery using his wingsuit in a skydive without parachute.
Gary Connery using his wingsuit in a skydive without parachute.
Video screen capture
It took years of training and a specially designed wingsuit to achieve this record jump, which took place in, and above, Ridge Wood in Buckinghamshire, England.
Minutes after landing, the 42-year-old father of two children told the BBC, "I have been training and planning for this record attempt for many years now and I am so proud to have achieved a world first.
"I want to thank everyone involved for their support and belief in me because this really has been a team effort."
While Connery was fitted with a parachute, it was not necessary to use it as he accelerated to 80mph during his flight. The entire flight lasted less than a minute, with Connery landing on a pile of cardboard boxes, known as a "box rig", which covered around 350ft (100m) by 45ft (15m)
The video was made by cameraman Mark Sutton, who also jumped from the helicopter wearing a wingsuit. However Sutton did use his parachute for a safe landing.
Connery told the NY Times in a telephone interview, “It was bliss. It’s a special, humbling day.”
Cameraman Sutton said, “It’s rather freaky watching someone pile into the ground from above.”
“He was tense and twitchy coming down,” Sutton added. “I didn’t think he would go for the whole flight, but he leveled out. There were a lot of concerns a few seconds before, but it all came together.”