You may know Luke Aikins from at least one or two of his 18,000+ jumps. In 2012, he helped Felix Baumgartner jump from a helium balloon in the stratosphere at 120,000 feet–and he helped Iron Man save the world (by doin’ a little stunt work on the third installment of the series). You definitely know Luke from his July 2016 jump—parachute-free—into an enormous net.
By dint of the fact that he’s a pretty darn well-known athlete, Luke is regularly called upon to rattle off his bio. Since he’s been working together with us for several years, joins our CYPRES team over here at Airtec, we consider him a friend–so we decided to fast-forward through the stuff you already know and ask—y’know—the good stuff.
Q: What is your desert island food?
Luke: A plain bacon cheeseburger. Bacon, cheese, meat. That’s it.
Q: What would your superhero costume look like?
Luke: A loose-fitting t-shirt and some comfortable like cargo pants. Nothing skin-tight. I’m not sure what my superhero logo would be, but it would definitely be blue.
Q: What was your favorite toy when you were a kid?
Luke: Easy—my GI Joe parachute guy. I was three years old when I got him. I used to have my dad—and anybody else at the drop zone I could talk into it—drop it for me from a couple hundred feet when they were doing accuracy jumps. I would chase it around the field and try to catch it. They would even do it for me at accuracy competitions.
Q: What’s your spirit animal?
Luke: As a kid, it was always a dolphin—or an eagle; something that flew. But as I got older, I think it’s more the big gliding birds that I love. So my spirit animal is probably a falcon, because they can ridge soar so elegantly and then they can just tear up the sky at top speed whatever they want to.
Q: What’s your favorite record of all time?
Luke: The Beastie Boys, Licensed to Ill.
Q: How would your best friend describe you?
Luke: My best friend would say I’m a MacGyver type—that I can always find a way to make something out of nothing. We always make stuff up on the fly for these projects. They’d also say I’m somebody you can count on when you need help, no matter what. I will drop everything to give a friend a hand. I’m a facilitator, I guess.
They’d also tell you I never jump without my CYPRES, which is true, at least whenever there’s a parachute involved. When I call them up with some crazy idea, they don’t hang up. They’re all about trying to figure out how they can make it work.
Q: …and how would your worst enemy describe you?
Luke: My worst enemy would say I’m a pain in the ass because I’m so persistent. Very persistent.
Q: Describe your ideal day.
Luke: I would wake up, go outside and get in the hangar—which is right outside the house—and fly my family out to breakfast in our airplane. We’d come back and land at the jump center—which is, like, two miles away—and I’d make something like three or four skydives. Then I’d head off to the lake with my family and friends, for a BBQ and beers at the end of the day. That’s pretty much the perfect summer day. It’s different if it’s winter time, but this is my ideal day, so I get to pick the season.
Q: What is the very best mistake you have ever made?
Luke: I blew off a girl that I was seeing in order to go on a date with the woman who has ended up being my wife for seventeen years and the mother of my son. It was a decision that you wouldn’t think would turn out great, but was the best thing ever.
Q: What do you think nobody should ever worry about? Why?
Luke: I used to get super upset about the weather. You would plan these massive events. Red Bull Aces. The Red Bull Stratos jump that Felix did—or even the [no-parachute] jump that I did. Everybody is like, ‘What happens if the weather is bad that day?!’ They all start looking at 45 day-forecasts, which mean nothing.
But here’s the thing: you should never worry about the weather. There’s nothing you can do about it. Most of us that live day in and day out in this industry have spent our whole life looking at the weather. You learn the hard way that you can’t do anything about it. If you try to schedule around it, you’ll never do a single thing. You plan for the best, and you hope it works out for what you want to do. If it doesn’t, you shouldn’t get too upset about it. It does what it wants.
Q: How long does it take you to finish a bucket of popcorn in the theater?
Luke: I never do. I like sweet stuff, but I just can’t finish a bucket of popcorn.
Q: You’re our new favorite movie buddy. Okay, Luke: What are you doing next?
Luke: I’m working on a couple projects, but the most notable is a reinterpretation of that classic stunt where you jump out of one plane and land inside another one. I’m in the process of doing that kind of thing but with two airplanes—Andy Farrington flying one, me flying the other one, and nobody else in them. The idea is to put them both in dives, close to each other, and switch airplanes. Ghost riding them, basically. That’s what’s next. There’s always something. I like to stay busy.
We’re proud to have supported Luke Aikins as a CYPRES team member since 2016. Check out his athlete page here.
Tags: Luke Aikins