It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a NIU! If you haven’t already experienced the adrenaline-packed scooter skydiving stunt featuring JT Holmes, then take a moment to get caught up:
(Note: Don’t try this at home!)
NIU is always seeking to connect with individuals who #MakeLifeElectric. JT Holmes has a substantial record of doing just that, including everything from BASE jumping to wingsuit flying to offroad racing. He is a pioneer, both as a multi-sport athlete and as a stunt performer. He is also an accomplished television producer, keynote speaker, and adventure tour guide. Above all else, JT is someone who knows how to push the limit to NIU levels.
Hi there, JT! Thank you so much for taking some time to virtually “sit down with us”. Please tell us a little about yourself!
My name is JT. I love to dive through the air, slide down mountains, and drive fast motor vehicles. I am really happy that I get to do these things full time as a sponsored athlete and stunt performer for movies, TV, and commercials.
Can you tell us about some of your career highlights?
A few years ago, I did a multi-sport descent of the Eiger which was documented by 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper. It was a scary, high-speed run down a steep and intimidating mountain.
I started off on the icy peak by skiing with a parachute, then made it about half way down and detached from it. From there, I skied off the north face at a spot where there was 1000 ft [300 m] of sheer vertical cliff. I performed a couple backflips, disconnected my skis, and free fell for 15 seconds before opening another parachute to land.
Another highlight was flying wing suits through Chicago for Transformers 3. We jumped from North America’s tallest buildings and flew between skyscrapers in the city. We won a Taurus World Stunt Award for our performance.
Tell us about the scooter stunt – is this the first time you’ve done something like this and how does it compare to other stunts you have done?
This was the first time that I ever rode a vehicle out of a plane. I had filmed cars dropping out of airplanes for Fast and Furious 7, but it was totally wild to actually ride the scooter out of the plane.
There was some mystery as to how it would all go down, but the one thing we knew was that the scooter and I would, in fact, go down at a high rate of speed. The scooter got up to speed very quickly in the plane, which gave me a smooth exit. And the stunt went off without any close calls. It was a great team effort between the pilots, camera operators, director, and aerial videographer who jumped with me.
What did you do in order to prepare for the stunt? What were some of the key considerations?
To prepare for this stunt, I got very familiar with the scooter so it just became second nature. I rode the NIU scooter around town and on the runway a lot. I was focused on mounting, transitioning off the kick stand, and then straight into full speed riding.
The bit that I could not train for was skydiving with the scooter, but in these cases, you eliminate any foreseeable variables and potential hazards. I noted any part of the scooter that could potentially snag on my gear and we bought a sweet new skydiving jumpsuit that would give me a little extra range of motion for the stunt.
We know you’ve since become well acquainted with our NIU scooter — tell us your thoughts. What were your impressions?
Finally, we think we have a good idea, but how do you #MakeLifeElectric?
I make life electric by waking up and considering the activities for speed, fun, and recreation that are available to me. Then I prioritize the time to to get out there and enjoy them.
Thank you so much for taking time out to speak with us, JT!
My pleasure. Thank you for creating such a memorable experience as riding a scooter out of an airplane with an all star team of professionals documenting it!
We want to offer a big thank you to JT, Craig O’Brien, Rob Bruce, Verge Studios, and everyone who made this scooter skydive stunt possible. Please check them out if you want to see more awesome videos like this. They know how to #MakeLifeElectric!