Gary Connery is a stunt man. Not just any stunt man, a proper one with credentials and everything. He's stunt doubled for Gary Oldman, Leonardo DiCaprio and for the Queen in that now infamous scene from The Olympic Games in London. He's performed stunts in James Bond, Batman and Indiana Jones, and he once did a base jump from Nelson's Column, a ludicrously low jump, which he later described as "frightening". No shit.
With his "sage" level of knowledge in stunting, we thought it would be great for him to share some of his wisdom with us, and in turn, you. So we asked if Gary could talk us through perhaps his most famous stunt to date, jumping from a helicopter into a pile of boxes without a parachute. I know...
1. Get yourself a helicopter, a specially designed wingsuit and 18,600 cardboard boxes. All in all it’s going to cost you £30,000. £22,000 of that will go on the boxes. Be prepared to shed a tear or two as the recycling trucks take them away at the end of your jump.
2. It’s time to build up the boxes for your landing. The aim is to create something that is soft on the top, and slightly harder below. To do this, put small boxes at the bottom and build up to the big ones. You’ll also need to leave a gap between each box stack. This gives the rig flex and means you can walk out when you land. It’s going to take you 6 hours to build it and 3 hours to take it down, and that’s with an experienced team helping you out.
3. Hop in your heli and climb to 2400 ft. You might be able to go higher, but I jumped in Heathrow airspace and that was as high as I was allowed to go before I’d get shredded by a flight to Magaluf. Luckily, this is the perfect altitude you need to land a wingsuit, so probably best to stick with it. Position your helicopter, keep in mind the weather and get yourself ready to jump.
4. Now jump. As you descend, the boxes will be the only thing you can focus on. You’ll be buffeted about a bit too and you will have to wrestle to keep your position and line as straight as you can. Inevitably a crowd will be gathered, and when you can hear them cheering, you know that you are past the point where you can deploy your parachute. There's no turning back now!
5. This is it…The landing is the whole reason we are doing this. It’s all about this moment, get it wrong and it’s game over. Tuck your head in as best as you can. I hit the boxes at 69.8 miles an hour, I travelled 38 feet laterally into the box rig and went down through 8 feet, leaving me four feet off the ground, but be assured, the landing is soft. Be prepared for the utterly fantastic, euphoric feeling that will hit you after landing. Nothing beats it.
Here's the jump in its entirety.
Note for any morons out there: Gary Connery is a professional stuntman with nuts literally the same size and hardness as actual coconuts. If you want to try this, please remember that you are not Gary Connery, you are not a professional stuntman and you will probably kill yourself.