Transcript for Red Bull Extreme Flyer Skysurfs Through Clouds in Lightning Storm
Now we turn to a team taking things to new heights literally. Launching into stomach-churning, possibly deadly stunts. Sky surfing into the belly of a thunderstorm. Not just for thrills. But to capture the perfect shot. Here's ABC's rob Marciano with our series "Pushing the limits." Reporter: There is skydiving, and then there is what this man does. Jumping, surfing, flat-out flying through the clouds. I put the board on, and it really -- it feels more like my sport bike. Reporter: While red bull athletes are known for pushing the limits, this may be Sean Mccormack's most dangerous mission yet. It's an adventure we're chasing. Reporter: A flyer in the elite red bull air force at 41 years old, Sean's now out to sky surf a thunderstorm. Everybody likes to say, you can't R can't. Ride up until you do it. Reporter: Welcome to Florida where the summer storms are legendary. With more people killed by lightning here than any other state. Last month, two vacationing teens were lucky to survive when lightning struck them on Clearwater beach. I tried to figure out if I was hurting. My whole body was pretty much numb. Reporter: Central Florida is one of the most lightning-prone Zones in the world. For Sean Mccormack, that's exactly the point. So the big question is, why? In all my time training what we're doing here is the one experience that I've had that wasn't really able to get chronicled properly. Reporter: But for extreme athletes like Sean, carefully coordinated red bull stunts like these are also about the bragging rights. Getting that perfect video. Not easy, especially when lightning is involved. Are you aware of just how dangerous it is? Lightning-wise? I am. I have experience doing it. So I've been in this environment before. And it worked out fine. 70% of all lightning doesn't even hit the ground. It's hitting the cloud. When you do this and there's flashes going off, what do you think's going to be going through your head? I think a lot of focus on that moment, because it's all pretty quick. I think you'd be amazed how calculated this mission is. Reporter: At this hangar in Florida, an entire team has been assembled for this mission. Among them two other skydiving pros. Red bull air force captain John devore, and aerial photographer Craig o'brien. What happens if you bump into Sean when he's doing thinks thing? Going to hurt. Quite a bit. Sean and I both have like 20,000 jumps. Half of them are together. Not that things can't happen, but we're definitely in unison. Reporter: To make sure Sean finds the right kind of cloud to surf they brought in a thunderstorm specialist. Joe Thompson, meteorologist. Normally as a meteorologist you're telling people where not to go, how to stay away from the storm. This is the complete opposite. Reporter: Joe is glued to these images all day. High-resolution computer models and doppler radar track the storms. The one that was over us has pretty much dissipated. Reporter: And when one gets close, it's human eyes to the sky. They want to skydive through the storms. Insane, right? I'm a meteorologist, not a psychologist. Reporter: Joe notices a promising cloud building not too far from the hangar. That's the best one we've seen all day. Reporter: The team takes off. But they didn't get the perfect shot, this time. So they pack up their gear -- We'll get you a good thunderstorm next run. Reporter: And wait for the next one. You're in phenomenal shape. Thank you. You're still doing this stuff at your top game. But you're over 40 years old. Does having three kids now, and a wife at home, make you think twice about doing some of this stuff? I have always had a very different approach. As a Hollywood stunt person we've always tried to be about risk management and trying to coordinate something that can be done, repeated, safely. I think that's always been my motivation and my goal. Do you think about family when you're doing a dive at any time? No. Jouust focussed? Yes. Reporter: Sean says it was his first jump at 18 years old that got him hooked. I felt spiritual about it. It was beautiful to me and could not have felt more present. Where I needed to be. Reporter: Sean diving to spread skydiving love. It's going to be a red bull air force jump, not fuzzy business. Reporter: He challenged me to get up there with him. That's crazy. That's what ours is going to be like, just like that. No, no. Reporter: I finally succumbed to the peer pressure. Is that your chariot? This is it, brother. I can't believe you're doing this. My heart rate just went up a little bit. The last cinch. Reporter: How often do you get to tandem jump with one of the best skydive others the planet? All right, let's do this, we're going to do it, man. ? Reporter: It's a category 3 hurricane wind in my face. Sit up, sit up, stand up, stand up! Whoo! I just jumped out of an airplane. Yeah, you did. With Sean Mccormack. How sweet is that? Reporter: Not long after our feet are on solid ground, Joe spots another, more potent storm cloud. So we climb back in the plane. Here we go. Reporter: This time I'm just spectating. 14,000 feet. Unreal to watch these guys. Unbelievable. We're almost there. 14,000 feet. Ears are starting to pop. The air up here is 20 degrees colder. The storm has gotten higher. They want to get closer to it. 17,000 now. Reporter: To get near the top of the cloud, we're 4,000 feet higher than a Normal jump. Dizzy yet? Yeah, feels a little light-headed, need some oxygen. Go, baby. Money shot! Reporter: And the thin air starts to take a toll. Guys will probably be feeling a little hypoxic right now. If you're getting light-headed you might start to slur your speech pretty soon. Reporter: My producer Jackie starts to fade, barely able to hold on to the camera. I got it. Just strap in. I got it. Getting light-headed back here. Jackie just back behind the lens, how you been? I'm alive, I'm alive. The angle of descent here is pretty intense. Good news is we got oxygen back in our systems. She didn't pass out. "Nightline" shoot successful. Yes! Reporter: Back on the ground, we learn that that storm cloud wasn't actually ideal for filming. But then -- This cloud kind of moved in and started just lighting up the sky. Reporter: Sean and the team get what they've been waiting for. A true thunderstorm. A massive cumulus cloud. The perfect backdrop. It's the opportunity to show a really amazing, beautiful place on this Earth that anybody could daydream about. And no one can get to go see. Reporter: Now that is storm chasing. For "Nightline," I'm rob
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