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Funny-Man Billy Connolly Leaps Off Sky Tower

Funny-Man Billy Connolly Leaps Off Sky Tower

International comedian and star of his popular self-titled World Tour TV series, Billy Connolly, experienced New Zealand’s highest adventure jump - Sky Jump - off Sky Tower.

Connolly and his film crew arrived only a couple of hours ago (3:30pm approximately) and stayed for over an hour to film Connolly’s 192metre leap off Sky Tower.

Billy Connolly’s World Tour of New Zealand will screen in the UK late 2004. The programme, featuring Billy Connolly’s Sky Jump off Sky Tower, will be part of the fourth in the World Tour series, which have previously been seen by up to 10 million UK viewers per episode.

Sky Jump Manager, Steve Weidmann, said Connolly’s words were that his Sky Jump was “absolutely amazing!”

The arrival in the afternoon, was a low-key affair, however Weidmann says that Connolly was “mobbed” by a small group of fans who recognised him on the ground after he landed.

Connolly’s celebrity jump follows a number of other high profile “jumpers” including Tom Cruise, Christina Applegate, Temuera Morrison, Cliff Curtis, numerous sporting personalities and Lucy Lawless.

With Sky Jump, jumpers wear a special flying suit and full body harness that’s attached to a wire cable and “descender” unit. Jumpers leap out and fall either “superman style” or feet first. The jump accelerates to a speed of approximately 80 km per hour and takes around 20 seconds.

As they jump, the cable drum rotates as the cable wire feeds out behind them. The speed at which they fall is limited by air resistance against large fan blades attached to the end of the drum.

Jumpers land in the middle of a raised landing platform on the Sky City plaza at the base of Sky Tower, where a red bulls-eye is painted to mark the landing spot.

Variations of the Sky Jump “descender” device have been used before by stunt people in movies such as blockbusters Entrapment, The Titanic and Batman.

Sky Jump Ltd is a joint venture between Waitomo Adventures Ltd, which operates New Zealand’s most successful and longest running caving and adventure operation and Sky City Auckland Ltd.

Sky Jump costs $195.00. To experience a jump off the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere phone 0800 SKY JUMP (0800 759 5867) or e-mail bookings@skyjump.co.nz.

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