A stuntman hoping to honor Evel Knievel did so without crashing badly or breaking numerous bones on Friday when he successfully jumped Idaho’s Snake River Canyon in a rocket modeled after the iconic daredevil’s.
Eddie Braun launched himself from the edge of the canyon off a 10-story ramp into the blue sky near Twin Falls, Idaho, and reached 2,000 feet and an estimated speed of 400 mph before his parachute deployed, according to The Associated Press. Unlike Knievel, who landed at the bottom of the canyon in his failed attempt on Sept. 8, 1974, Braun touched down safely on the other side, some 1,400 feet away.
When asked before the stunt why he was doing it, Braun told GQ Magazine, “I figure this: I can tolerate just about anything for a couple of minutes. So I’ll be miserable. I’ll be scared to death. I’m scared of heights. I’ll be cramped in a little rocket. I mean it’s only going to be a couple of minutes, and then it’s over. One way or another.”
EXCLUSIVE: Footage of stuntman Eddie Braun completing Evel Knievel's rocket jump over Snake River pic.twitter.com/CcQbdqe9i7
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) September 17, 2016
Afterward, he issued a statement in which he said, “I feel like the no name third string quarterback of a junior varsity team that just won the Super Bowl. My team got me there. I ran it into the end zone. We scored and won.”
Braun, 54, called his custom-built rocket Evel Spirit. It was designed by Scott Truax, whose father constructed the original X2 Skycycle for Knievel, according to the AP.
Boise, Idaho, news station KBOI 2 said Braun spent about $1.6 million preparing for the stunt. The station also posted a Facebook video of the action: