Even though this short video may seem a bit disturbing for certain viewers, it shows, in fact, how stunt riding began in the early 20th century. This is Fred Osborne’s failed attempt at the first motorcycle parachute jump.
In 1926, aviator and stuntman Fred Osborne had an idea for a stunt that was as simple as it was badass. He was going to drive a motorcycle over a cliff in Santa Monica, California at 60mph (96 km/h), and then parachute to safety. Unfortunately, only half the stunt went right for Osborne. As you can probably guess based on how the rest of these stunts have gone, that was the “driving over the cliff” part.
After driving over the cliff, Osborne pulled the cord of the parachute but it didn’t deploy properly, and Osborne and the bike plummeted 500 feet to the ground below.
The April 27, 1927 edition of Popular Science Monthly attributed his survival to the telephone wires that supposedly broke his fall. The cycle crashed to the ground and caught fire, and Osborne was rushed to the hospital where it was reported that he was expected to recover fully.