Umbrella skydive tests Mary Poppins' theory of flight

It's not often that we get to test some of the fantastical "what ifs" posed in movies by some of our favorite characters, but in one new spot promoting the GoPro camera, skydiver and all around adventurer Erik Roner tests out what it might actually be like to fly like Mary Poppins. Spoiler: it looks kind of unpleasant.

Flown thousands of feet into the sky by a hot air balloon, Roner holds onto a specially equipped umbrella that has its own parachute. At a certain point, Roner decides to decouple the umbrella from the balloon, and the ride begins. The journey is brief, and appears to rather turbulent, as the umbrella's material is ripped away by high velocity winds in a matter of seconds.

Roner gamely holds onto the umbrella frame for as long as possible, and then jumps away to dive back to Earth with the assistance of his own parachute. The real goal of the stunt was to see if an umbrella might slow down a skydiver's descent. According to Roner, the umbrella did work to slow his fall to some extent.

You can check out the dive, as well as footage of how Roner prepared for the flight, in videos below. 


Via DaringFireball

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