The Highest Bike Jump in the World!
This Aerial Stunt was filmed over Skydive Elsinore back in 2013. The stunt actually proved more challenging than what first meets the eye by just looking at the photo. Numerous obstacles had to be overcome as we were filming out of a Twin Otter which included: size of bike, designing a bag which held a bunch of prizes and were released in free fall, a drogue chute for the bike once the stuntman released, and the spotting of the aircraft where there would be no damage to people or property on the ground.
The shot sequence was for a rider to exit the aircraft with a bike, execute some flips, open up a bag where prizes would fly out, and then the rider would release a drogue so the bike would not impact mother earth and do damage to people or property.
Probably one of the biggest challenges was getting a bike properly sized so that the rider and the bike would be able to exit out of the side door of a Twin Otter. At first the producer shipped us out a bike which was frankly to tall and made it impossible to safely exit the aircraft. After a bunch of calls, the producer was able to source 3 mini size mountain bike (more like an off road bike kids ride) which was just small enough to exit the plane with a 1/2″ to spare between the riders rig and the floater bar.
We essentially had to design things on the fly on the day of the shoot, as the pilot wanted to feel safe to avoid the bike from whistling into the ground. We designed a bag where the stunt rider would pull a release handle so the bag would open and the prizes would fly out, along with mounting a drogue on the bottom of the prize bag so when the rider released from the bike, the drogue would deploy and the bike would come down safely.
Whenever exiting an aircraft with a foreign object is always scary at first, as one never truly knows how an object will fly or behave once exposed to hurricane force winds. There was a lot of apprehension on the first jump as the stunt rider was just praying he was going to hold onto the bike upon exiting a side door aircraft, as there was only 1/2″ to spare between his rig and the top of the door. No matter how many safety precautions are taken, how much intelligence, how much dirt diving, how much planning, you just never know with 100% certainty how things are going to fly!
On the first jump, the aerial stuntman exited the aircraft without issue and did a few flips (either intentionally or unintentionally) before flying the bike inverted as you see in the picture. The mass of the rider pretty much determines the center of gravity. The biggest goal of this first just was really to not let go of the bike until about 4,000-5000′. Fortunately, not only did the aerial stuntman hold onto the bike, he was able to start to learn how the bike actually flew, and was able to release all the prizes out of the deployment bag on the handlebars. The deployment of the drogue chute went exactly as planned and the bike came down so softly we were able to use the bike for a second time even though we had three bikes to use.
The subsequent jumps got better and better as the aerial stunt flyer was learning how to fly with a mountain bike in free fall. Instead of just hanging onto the bike, he was able to do intentional flips and spins as Joe Jennings was all over him like a fat lady sitting on a BB.
The one shot we had to get creative on was a shot of the prizes being deployed out of the deployment bag. Joe Jennings in his red-neck enginneering came up with a genius plan of mounting the deployment bag on his belly where he flew on his back and deployed the prizes being released while filming with a Red Epic Camera. To check out this exciting commercial check out this link!: Budlight Crankworkz
Contact Joe: 310-543-2222