Gary Connery in world's first skydive without parachute

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A stuntman is thought to have become the first person to jump out of a helicopter and land safely without deploying a parachute.

Gary Connery, 42, used a "wingsuit" to make his descent from 2,400ft (730m) above Oxfordshire.

The 42-year-old said he felt "elated" after landing on a pile of 18,600 cardboard boxes.

He was fitted with a parachute for the jump, which saw him accelerate to 80mph, but it was not deployed.

The entire flight took less than a minute to complete.

During the flight, father-of-two Mr Connery dropped for three seconds before his suit "started to fly".

'Plotting challenge'

He used a landing strip of cardboard boxes, known as a box rig, covering about 350ft (100m) by 45ft (15m).

Cameraman Mark Sutton also jumped from the helicopter in a wingsuit but deployed a parachute before landing.

Minutes after landing, Mr Connery said: "I feel incredible, just completely elated.

"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.

Image caption,
Mr Connery was wearing a specially developed wingsuit

"Tonight will be all about celebrating with friends and family. Tomorrow I will be plotting my next daring challenge.

"I was absolutely fine afterwards. I was completely buzzing."

The jump had been planned for early April but had to be postponed due to poor weather conditions, he said.

Mr Connery, who has worked on films including Die Another Day, Batman Begins and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, said performing stunts was "his life".

He has already completed about 880 skydives and 450 base jumps.

Before carrying out the flight in countryside near his home in Henley-on-Thames, Mr Connery, whose wingsuit has the ability to dramatically reduce speed on descent, said he was "100% confident" he would be successful.

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