Friday Hurricane Florence In Wilmington Skydiver
Michael Henderson of Tennessee, a professional skydiver, stands on the seventh floor of a parking garage in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, as Hurricane Florence just hit land on Friday, September 14, 2018. Henderson said he always wanted to try out his wing suit during a hurricane. (Ken Ruinard / Greenville News / Gannett USA Today Network / 2018 )
Ken Ruinard / Greenville News / Gannett USA Today Network,

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Professional skydiver Michael Henderson was ready for the next thrill.

The 33-year-old from Tennessee had been tracking Hurricane Florence and came to Wilmington in an attempt to use wind gusts from the storm to propel himself into the air with a wingsuit.

More: Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina. What's next for the weekend?

"It's looking like it's not going to be strong enough," Henderson said around midnight Friday. He came from the Memphis area as a member of the West Tennessee Skydiving Club.

Friday Hurricane Florence In Wilmington Skydiver
Michael Henderson of Tennessee, a professional skydiver, stands on the seventh floor of a parking garage in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, as Hurricane Florence just hit land on Friday, September 14, 2018. Henderson was testing out his wing suit in hurricane conditions. (Ken Ruinard / Greenville News / Gannett USA Today Network / 2018 )
Ken Ruinard / Greenville News / USA Today Network

He and a friend slept in a Dodge Durango inside a downtown parking deck, waiting for wind gusts to strengthen.

He said he made several attempts early Friday by tethering himself to the ground while wearing his wingsuit. A wind gust caught him up into the air for a second or two, but he came back to the ground and fell.

More: Hurricane Florence: A visual primer

By the time the storm was making landfall later Friday, Henderson tried it again, this time on the seventh floor of the Market Street parking garage.

0914 Hurrican Wing Suit 4
Michael Henderson of Tennessee, a professional skydiver, stands on the seventh floor of a parking garage in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, as Hurricane Florence just hit land on Friday, September 14, 2018. Henderson said he always wanted to try out his wing suit during a hurricane. (Ken Ruinard / Greenville News / Gannett USA Today Network / 2018 )
Ken Ruinard / staff

"It's amazing," he said as he strapped on his suit and video-camera-equipped helmet and stood at the top of the facility.

He didn't expect the wind gusts to be strong enough — he had tracked how Florence had weakened again to a Category 1 by the time it reached land — but he wanted to see what wearing the suit would do.

More: Forecasters warn of 'catastrophic' flooding from deadly Hurricane Florence

He never made it off the ground, even though wind gusts were strong enough to topple trees in downtown streets below.

Follow Daniel J. Gross on Twitter: @DanieljGross

Friday Hurricane Florence In Wilmington Skydiver
Michael Henderson of Tennessee, a professional skydiver, stands on the seventh floor of a parking garage in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, as Hurricane Florence just hit land on Friday, September 14, 2018. Henderson said he always wanted to try out his wing suit during a hurricane. (Ken Ruinard / Greenville News / Gannett USA Today Network / 2018 )
Ken Ruinard / Greenville News / Gannett USA Today Network,