BARSTOW, Calif. (VVNG.com) — ‘Mad’ Mike Hughes, a local daredevil who made national headlines died today at the age of 64 after his parachute failed during a rocket launch in Barstow.
On Saturday, February 22, 2020, at about 1:52 pm, the amateur rocket-maker, launched himself into the air on his “self-made steam-powered rocket”.
The launch took place on private property off Highway 247, near the Slash X Cafe. Many of Mike’s fans and loyal supporters were there recording and taking photos as “Mad” Mike attempted to reach 5,000 feet.
Footage of the incident shows the rocket propelling into the air as what appears to be a large parachute separates from the rocket. Moments later, the rocket and Hughes crash-landed into the desert, killing him instantly.
The entire incident was possibly recorded by a film crew that was there for the TV show, “Homemade Astrounats” featured on the Science channel. The series follows self-financed and self-made teams of people that are trying to reach the sky.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike Hughes’ family and friends during this difficult time. It was always his dream to do this launch, and Science Channel was there to chronicle his journey,” the Science Channel said in a statement shared on Twitter.
People who witnessed the launch reported a failure of the safety chute as a possible cause for the deadly crash. The primary chute is used to ensure a safe descent and landing.
Although many of his fans are upset they are somewhat at peace knowing the one-of-a-kind daredevil died doing what he loved most.
Earlier this week, Hughes contacted VVNG about his planned rocket launch and extended a personal invitation to the event. In the message, he mentioned his plans to announce a run for sheriff’s office and he would begin his campaign.
He also mentioned the taping of the show and his documentary. “My movie which was filmed right here in Apple Valley was voted the second top feature documentary of 2019,” he stated.
The Barstow Sheriff’s Department said the sheriff’s Aviation and Specialized Investigators have responded to conduct the investigation.
Updates will be provided as new information becomes available.
— Justin Chapman (@justindchapman) February 22, 2020