UK
23/05/2012 12:58 BST | Updated 24/05/2012 05:26 BST

Gary Connery, Stuntman, Survives 2400ft-Leap From A Helicopter - With No Parachute

A stuntman has become the first person to jump out of a helicopter and land without using a parachute.

Gary Connery, 42, used a special "wingsuit" to make the death-defying leap 2,400ft above the fields of Oxfordshire, the first time anyone has successfully jumped from such a height without deploying a parachute.

The adrenaline junkie, who has performed stunts in Hollywood films including Indiana Jones, Batman Begins and The Beach, helped develop the suit, which enables him to glide through the air.

After jumping out of the helicopter, Mr Connery plunged downwards before accelerating to speeds of around 80mph as his wingsuit came into play.

The short flight ended with him landing on a specially made "runway" made up of around 18,000 cardboard boxes.

Before carrying out the flight in countryside near his home in Henley-on-Thames, Connery said he was "100% confident" he would be successful.

Connery, who had to wear a parachute for the jump due to safety rules, was celebrating with champagne minutes after being back on the ground.

He 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.

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

Connery, who has carried out base jumps from famous landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Nelson's Column and the London Eye, has concentrated on doing wingsuit jumps since discovering them eight years ago.

He has carried out more than 880 skydives and 450 base-jumps since becoming a paratrooper when he was in his 20s.