Five seconds was all it took for Felix Baumgartner’s freefall at his most recent B.A.S.E. jump in Taipei.
That five seconds required months of preparation, however. The 38-year-old Austrian checked out the tower, which is 1,670 feet tall, on numerous visits and in various costumes, making note of the positioning of the surveillance cameras, observing the security systems, and memorizing the inaccessible areas.
On the day before the jump, Baumgartner deposited his parachute in a toilet with the help of a local resident. On Tuesday afternoon it was time to go ahead with the secret mission, James Bond style.
On the lookout platform, helpers distracted the tourists and security team, giving Baumgartner the opportunity to climb the 10-foot security wall. From there it was a big drop. After the historical jump he landed on a multi-level car park.
“I failed three times, but now I’ve finally realized this dream,” Baumgartner rejoiced after making the first B.A.S.E. jump from the tallest building in the world – the most recent highlight of his aerial career resume.
Baumgartner preferred to avoid meeting up with the police and security who were on his heels after the jump – probably not to congratulate him. Two hours after the mission he was sitting in a plane, flying out of the country with the job well done.