Helicopter bungy: Advice to Will Smith as he jumps into the Grand Canyon

Heli-bungy: (verb) to jump out of a helicopter, midflight, with a bungy cord wrapped around your legs

e.g. Will Smith is Heli-bungying into the Grand Canyon.

As far as thrills come it’s pretty out there.

But I can assure you that Heli-bungy is one-hundred-per-cent a real thing.

As is the fact that actor Will Smith is taking part in one over the Grand Canyon to mark his 50th birthday.

After being challenged to the task in a viral video by YouTube channel ‘Yes Theory’, Smith accepted.

The Jump is set to take place on the 25th of September in Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park.

The actor is famed for such daring mid-air accomplishments as inspiring Air New Zealand’s Men In Black / ABs safety video.

However this jump will be his most dangerous Kiwi-invented aerial pass time to date.

It may not surprise you to know that Heli-bungy was invented in New Zealand.

Like the original adventure sport, the heli-bungy was pioneered by Kiwi dare-devil A J Hackett.

In 1990, Hackett jumped 390m from a helicopter above the French province of Normandie. The ‘first commercial helicopter bungy’ was opened to the public in 1993 and has had over 3000 jumpers.

However, paying punters will have to travel all the way to Germany to take the leap.

The last heli-bungy to take place in New Zealand was undertaken by bungy co-founder Henry Van Asch in May this year. He jumped 500ft from a bright red helicopter into Dunedin’s harbour.

“I’ve done a few heli-jumps in the past but I’d almost forgotten what it’s like,” he told the Otago Daily Times, once safely back on dry ground.


This was hardly the 6,093ft into Arizona’s Grand Canyon that Smith is attempting, but I’m sure it was still just as thrilling.

Will Smith’s jump is set to take place at 3pm Pacific Time and can be viewed on YouTube.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=7uilQxtVvpQ%3Ffeature%3Doembed

The current record for helicopter bungy is held by A J Hackett, at a height of 2,300feet.

A record which may soon be beaten by Will Smith.

How to survive a helicopter bungy jump

Here are our top tips for Will and anyone attempting a heli-bungy for the first time:

1.Fall don’t jump. Jump is a bit misleading. With a set of rotor blades overhead, it’s best to just lean into the drop. Trust us, from 500ft you’ll not miss the extra couple of inches.

2.Jump wet or stay dry While the ultimate aim of a jump over water is to go for a dunk, the mathematics behind this is extremely complicated. Then there is an added complication of jumping from an unfixed point – the helicopter. It’s safer just to go for dangle.

3. Smile Enjoy it! It’ll be over before you know. From 500ft you’ll only experience about 8 seconds of free fall. Make the most of the moment.

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