How to Fly a Helicopter Over Niagara Falls and Hang by Your Teeth Like Erendira Wallenda

Erendira Wallenda, wife of daredevil Nik Wallenda, attempts to fly across Niagara falls by her teeth
A view from the Canadian side shows Horseshoe Falls in Ontario on August 21, 2015. Charles Platiau/REUTERS

The wife of famous daredevil Nik Wallenda broke her husband's world record Thursday when she flew over Niagara Falls hanging from a helicopter by her teeth. Erendira Wallenda, whose husband set a Guinness World Record for height when he famously dangled from a trapeze 250 feet above an amusement park in Missouri six years ago, claimed the "iron-jaw" title after dangling 300 feet above the iconic waterfall.

Taking off over the Horseshoe Falls at 8:35 a.m., Erendira Wallenda hung from the helicopter for 20 minutes by clinging on to a customized mouthpiece attached to the bottom of the aircraft. Similar to her husband's 2011 performance, Erendira Wallenda dangled not just from her teeth over the waterfall but also from her toes, hands and knees. Before performing several aerial stunts, she danced to music in an aerobatic routine with a hula hoop.

Wallenda hangs by her teeth from helicopter over Niagara Falls

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Because of a New York state law requiring aerialists to wear a safety tether when performing above 20 people, Erendira Wallenda did wear a cable tether attached to her waist, which was intended to catch her if she fell.

Following the stunt, Erendira Wallenda told local reporters the conditions were "a little bit more windy" than she expected but said she was always confident that she could break her husband's Guinness record for the highest iron-jaw hang stunt.

"If a guy can do it, a girl can do it too," she said.

The stunt came on the fifth anniversary of Nik Wallenda's tightrope walk above Niagara Falls, during which he walked 1,800 feet from the U.S. to Canada in just 25 minutes. Erendira Wallenda said watching her husband walk the tightrope across countries inspired her decision to do Thursday's stunt.

"I remember watching Nikolas as he was crossing the falls and thinking, Boy, I wonder what that would feel like, I wonder what that would look like, never thinking that five years later I was going to get the same opportunity," she said at a press conference Wednesday before her performance. "I just feel blessed."

The couple comes from a long line of daredevils dating back some 200 years. Members of Nik Wallendas family, famously known as the Flying Wallendas, performed some of the first death-defying acts to be recorded on national TV, including tightrope walks across the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls.

However, the troupe may be best known for their fatal seven-person chair pyramid act that killed two members and left a third paralyzed in 1962. Nik Wallenda's great-grandfather died after falling from a tightrope in 1978.