Operation Tall Order
The jump was spectacular. Everything else was secret.
Austrian BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner leaped off the world’s tallest building Tuesday — the 1,671-foot Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan — to complete a mission the extreme sports ace chose to accept three years ago when the mammoth structure was finished.
After two reconnaissance missions to scout the tower in 2006, Baumgartner went incognito in the days leading up to the big jump. Disguised in different clothing, he first surveyed the building’s security system and zones of exclusion. He smuggled his parachute past tight security with the help of a Taiwanese acquaintance, who then hid it in a bathroom ceiling. Just before the leap, cohorts created a distraction on the observation platform, enabling Baumgartner to climb up and over the 10-foot security barrier.
At 4:18 p.m. local time and after a five-second free fall, Baumgartner opened his chute before landing safely on a parking deck’s roof. He quickly made his way to the street level, escaped in a taxicab and two hours later was on a plane bound for Hong Kong.
“F-----’ eh. I did it,” Baumgartner said. “Highest building in the world. Number one.”
See Baumgartner’s covert ops for yourself. Click here.