On February 17th, 2001, Kalin and Jinger made magic history by presenting the largest stage illusion in the world the disappearance of an American Airlines jumbo jet at the Reno Hilton. The illusion was presented, nightly, for over two years. It was the climax of their critically acclaimed Carnival of Wonders, and was witnessed by over a half-a-million people.
The Vanishing Jet was a remarkable achievement in magic and the result of months of careful work and planning. It was only possible because of the enormous stage at the Reno Hilton, which could accommodate the plane, and the support of American Airlines, sponsors of the illusion. Magic consultants Don Wayne and Jim Steinmeyer, who had both created larger-than-life mysteries for David Copperfield’s television shows, developed the illusion with Kalin and Jinger. The scale and speed of the mystery required a number of innovative techniques. Of course, the plane was too large to move away without anyone in the audience seeing it, Kalin explains. It was performed above a poured concrete stage, the only floor that would support the weight, so we couldn’t use trap doors.
The jumbo plane was covered with several narrow strips of curtain, covering the nose and wings. Just seconds later the curtains were pulled away, showing that the plane had disappeared and the entire stage was empty. We were proud of the results, according to Jinger. The audience never knew how much effort was involved in an illusion that large. But the result was magical, even for me watching it on the stage. They’re both proud of the Vanishing Jumbo Jet. We didn’t do it to set a record, says Kalin. But we just couldn’t resist the challenge. It was very exciting for us as performers. That sort of thing makes your heart pound, every single show.