A dramatic video has emerged of a man’s violent crash landing after skydiving near Lebanon, Maine, US.
The footage, shot earlier this month with a helmet mounted camera, shows the skydiver having fun in the air before deploying his parachute.
Unfortunately, he hadn’t slowed down enough before hitting the ground.
Watch it here:
‘I decided to work on some high performance turns while landing my parachute. I ended up very low on my final and once I started the turn, I knew i was in trouble right away,’ he said.
I hit the ground and bounced up four feet and skipped another 20 feet before touching down again.
I was rushed to the hospital, where x-rays determined I had broken my pelvis in two places, including the entire left side shifting upwards.
A jarring and shocking story, and one not too foreign to me. You see, I’m what you’d call a fairweather skydiver.
I too have straddled the often-uncontrollable winds you come across when careering to the ground from the dizzying heights skydiving necessitates.
There’s no easy or subtle way to say this: I know Tom Cruise. I wouldn’t say we were friends, though we did once enjoy a fleeting game of Mario Kart in Manchester’s Northern Quarter staple, Hold Fast. More part-time pals whose bond begins and ends with extreme sports.
It was a cool, humid spring evening last year. Tom was shooting Mission Impossible: Fallout in the United Arab Emirates. I happened to be passing by and dropped him a message.
‘Hey man,’ he replied straight away. ‘Gonna have to give the beer a miss. Shooting tonight! Feel free to come over and watch tho.’
My list of friends in the UAE is pretty scant so I decided to take him up on the offer. An hour or so later there we were.
The scene Tom was shooting involved his character, Ethan Hunt, leaping from a plane over the skies of Paris.
Obviously the French capital didn’t permit them to do so, and as a result, the production team opted to shoot it in the middle eastern nation, which turned out to be the only country that’d let them.
Hearing Tom describe what was required initially gave me the sweats. How could anyone be mad enough to do that for a ten-second shot in a summer blockbuster?
Although he had done far worse stunts in his day, Tom paced around the set in a stupor. ‘You know how many times I’ve done this take?’ he asked me.
‘Nah,’ I said.
‘Ask me. Ask me how many times I’ve done this take.’
‘How many times have you done this take?’
Eventually it would take Tom 106 jumps to perfect it, and dare I say I might have just played a part. See, after the 105th attempt, he came over to me deflated and dejected. ‘I’m just lacking the inspo, you know?’ he said. ‘Part of me needs to have someone that can relate.’
Reluctantly, I informed Tom of my fairweather skydiving experiences. Delighted and surprised, he joked I should go up and let him ‘have a lunch break’.
‘Deal,’ I said. Pulling a few strings with some of the disposable travel money I had in my wallet, within fifteen minutes there I was looking out over the long stretches of land that make up the United Arab Emirates.
‘You sure you wanna do this bro?’ one of the stunt coordinators yelled at me. I didn’t say a word, nor did I turn around to acknowledge him. I put a simple thumbs up in the air and leapt from the aircraft.
At first everything was going as planned. In my earpiece, which had been keeping me in contact with the team during our ascent, I could hear the director, Christopher McQuarrie, saying to me: ‘Keep going buddy, you’re doing great.’
I’m not a superstitious man but I can only conclude the well-wish acted as a jinx because through no fault of my own I suddenly began to spin violently out of control.
‘If he doesn’t get out of this cycle he is dead,’ I could hear Christopher saying to his crew.
With no signs of immediate improvement, my helmet then flew off my head. It took mere seconds before I found myself vomiting in every direction.
‘OK, now he’s definitely dead,’ Christopher said.
Then, with all my might, I navigated my body and reassumed a stable position; I set off my parachute, made a comfortable landing down by the crew and said, ‘What were you worried about?’
Not wanting any medical attention or drama, I quickly made my excuses and went back to my hotel. Tom got in the plane shortly after and finally nailed the shot.
The next week he text me: ‘Dude, you killed it! Bit of a random one but I can’t help but notice you told me you weren’t religious?’
I left him on read. We haven’t spoken since. But only because we aren’t really friends nor have we ever met.
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