Aerones, a drone company based in Latvia, has posted a video online showing a custom drone with 28 rotors carrying a skydiver aloft to about 1,000 feet, where he lets go and parachutes to a safe landing. The drone launches from a pond, then picks up skydiver Ingus Augstkalns from a nearby tower. The company claims it is the “first human flight with the drone and jump at high altitude.” The stunt is the latest in a trend to experiment with the capabilities of drones for extreme sports — back in December, Casey Neistat posted video of being lifted aloft and towed while snowboarding with a drone, and a team at Vertipod experimented with a man-carrying drone in 2015.
Aerones has been experimenting with heavy-lift drones that can be used for firefighting and rescue, as well as sports and entertainment. The company said it spent six months preparing for the stunt, including test flights with the drone carrying payloads up to 440 pounds.