The 42-year-old daredevil plunged from a helicopter in a death-defying feat before landing in an area containing 18,600 cardboard boxes.[youtube height=”400″ width=”550″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un1C9TkP7JU[/youtube]
The father-of-two, a veteran of 880 sky dives, 450 base jumps and dozens of film and television roles, jumped this afternoon above Ridge Wood, Bucks to become the first person to jump from such a height and live without deploying a parachute.
The entire flight of nearly a mile took less than a minute and was only given the green light because the weather conditions were “perfect”.
Mr Connery, from nearby Henley-on-Thames, Oxon, dropped for three seconds before reaching speeds of more than 80mph in a specially developed wing suit that “started to fly”.
He landed on a strip measuring about 350ft (100m) by 45ft (15m) – and at its highest point 12ft off the ground – at Temple Island Meadows, on the Buckinghamshire and Berkshire border.
In order to survive the audacious stunt, he had to flare his wing suit about 200ft from his target in order to bring his gliding speed down to 50mph and his vertical falling speed to 15mph.
He landed to cheers from thousands of people who watched his feat and was met on the ground by his wife Vivienne, who gave him a kiss. He celebrated his achievement with champagne on the ground.
Mr Connery, whose films include Die Another Day, The Beach, Batman Begins and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, said it had been an “amazing feeling”.
“I feel absolutely wonderful, I am overwhelmed,” he told reporters afterwards.
“I am in a strange zone at the moment. It is an amazing feeling. I feel incredible, just completely elated.
“I am so choked with the turnout. It was so comfortable and so soft. I got my calcualtions absolutely right. There was some turbulence.”
Stuntman Gary Connery will attempt the leap from 2400 feet without the use of a parachute.
He added: “The fear comes before you get into the helicopter. You don’t get in before you have dealt with that.
“These suits are amazing. There is so much support in them. I could just go with it.
“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.”
He continued: “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.”
Mrs Connery, 45, who owns a cafe in Henley, added: “I am just so relieved it is all over.”
Before the jump he insisted he would survive, as performing stunts was “his life” but admitted to being “a bit scared”.
“I’m 100 per cent confident I can achieve this jump,” said the former paratrooper, who has trained for the jump in the Swiss and Italian alps.
“I know I can fly, I know I can hit the target, I feel I’ve assessed the risk that I’m presented with and I’ve put everything in place to minimise that risk.
“This stunt will get great recognition and will be a post in the runway of aviation history. I’m sure plenty of people will think I’m bonkers but that’s OK, I take that as a compliment.”
He added: “Now we have the green light, I can’t wait to go for it.
“The last few days have been a whirl of activity making sure everything is in place for flight.
“There has been so much interest in my world first attempt and a huge amount of support from the British public.”
He admitted his wife and children Kali, 15 and Lydia, 19, were worried. He made his first parachute jump as an Army recruit at the age of 23 and has since become a professional stuntman.
He has leapt from the top of London’s Tower Bridge, the London Eye, Nelson’s Column and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Patrick De Gayardon, the French aristocrat inventor of the modern wing suit, died when his parachute malfunctioned over Hawaii in 1998.[youtube height=”400″ width=”550″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KTW6gDLH5M[/youtube]