Dr. Richard Henriksen, a surgeon by profession, was attempting to somersault into the jump from a metal high bar set up on the edge of a cliff in the More og Romsdal county of Norway, the London Telegraph reported.
However, the bar gave way, sending the veteran Norwegian BASE jumper plummeting over the 4,000-foot drop.
The stunt was captured on camera by the Norwegian television network NRK, who happened to be at the site filming a story on BASE jumpers.
Henriksen opened his parachute in time to survive the fall, however New Zealand's 3 News cited eyewitnesses as saying they doubted he would make it.
Henriksen, interviewed later at home with his children, said he realized how close to death he had come.
"I sat with the two youngest children, reading and singing to them. Then it dawned on me that my children could have been without a dad."
On its website, Basejumper.com describes BASE jumping—from either a building, antenna, span or earth—as "a highly dangerous sport that can easily injure and kill participants."