Curtis Rivers has broken two World Records - one in parachuting (duration) and one in bungee jumping (height).
Operation Hawk - Longest Parachute Jump
Whilst learning to parachute in the late 1980's, Curtis grew frustrated with the lack of time he experienced 'under canaopy' - the journey from his parachute opening after a skydive, and touching down safely.
He took up Hang Gliding to provide the serenity of a long distance unpowered flight, but his desire for a long duration parachute flight grew. The Guinness Book of Records showed a parachute flight in the 1950's taking an amazing 40 minutes from opening to landing. This, the famous book explained, was due to thermals keeping the parachutist airbourne.
Through the 1990's as his hang gliding and skydiving knowledge grew, Rivers decided to attempt to break this long standing world record, and Operation Hawk was born.
After hundreds of parachute jumps, training and testing in sub-zero temperatures, training with the Special Forces in Hyperbaric Chambers, and countless test flights of the hot-air balloon; Rivers left the UK in early 2002 to pursue his dream.
On 14 February 2002, he took off in a hot-air balloon from Pozoblanco, Spain, after pre-breathing oxygen for an hour with pilot Charlie Limon. At a little over 25,000ft (7,620m) above the earth, he leapt from the balloon and activated his parachute immediately. Breathing oxygen high above the Andalucian Mountains, he used his hang gliding know-how and parachuting prowess to fly into the record books with a flight time of 45 minutes.
This bettered the long standing Guinness World Record by 5 whole minutes.
Operation Pentecost - Highest Bungee Jump
Enjoying the widespread publicity that Operation Hawk provided, his sponsors agreed to fund his next world record attempt. This time he set his sights firmly on the Highest Bungee Jump.
The official Guinness World Record was 8,500ft (2,590m). However, an unofficial claim came to the attention of Rivers and his team, a claim of a bungee jump from a hot-air balloon flying some 10,500ft (3,200m) above the ground!
He therefore set his sights higher still, on a jump from the very limits of where a human can breathe without oxygen after taking off from sea level - 15,000ft (4,572m).
On 5 May 2002, Rivers bungee jumped from a hot-air balloon flying 15,200ft (4,633m) above Puertolano in Spain, and was awarded his second World Record.
This bettered the previous official Guinness World Record by some 6,700ft (2,042m).