Who Would Jump Out of a ‘Perfectly Good Airplane?’

September 14th, 2006 by xformed

First off, let me begin with a news flash:

There is no such thing as a “perfectly good airplane.” If that was the case, long before the Wright Brothers, Leonado could have painted more pictures rather than waste his time inventing and documenting the parachute (which, BTW, works exceeding well – See this movie to find out how the test jump went).

Don’t believe me, but will you be getting in your car to head to work, go home, or take a trip? Keep this in mind:

An important reminder for those with a fear of flying:
In America, your chances of dying in an airplane crash are 1 in 4.6 million. Your chances of dying in a car crash are 1 in 125. (Source: Institute for Pyschology of Air Travel)

(Thanks, Andy, for that tidbit of useful info!)

/rant off

Jay Stokes under canopy

Well, Jay Stokes did this past weekend. 640 times to be exact, which also is looking like a 24 hour record for number of jumps.

Why (in case you’re still wondering)?: Because he wanted to raise $60K for the Special Olympics and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

From North Georiga Access:

Sep 9, 11:43 AM EDT

Skydiver Completes 640 Jumps in 24 Hours

GREENSBURG, Ind. (AP) — Jay Stokes celebrated his 50th birthday by jumping out of an airplane – 640 times.

The veteran skydiver did it to break his own world record of 534 jumps in a 24-hour period. There was no immediate word when his new record might be confirmed by Guinness World Records.

“I feel a little bit tired but I think I’ll be OK,” the exhausted former Army Green Beret said Saturday morning at Greensburg Municipal Airport after finishing.

Jay Stokes landing

What a stud. He wore himself out to help the disabled and those families who have lost a loved one who was part of the Special Operations community.

It ain’t all “beer and skittles” as one of my favorite bloggers says, this effort takes many people to help make it happen, and it’s a serious work load for the jumper, even if the weight of equipment has come down to the mid- 20 lb range.

Packers, pilots and people to make sure the jumper is fed and hydrated as he runs between the landing spot and the waiting plane are required.

But…on top of that, it sucks to not log any significant freefall time from a total of 640 jumps, as you’re doing “hop & pops” (clear and pulls) right out the door, at the lowest legal altitude, so you can get to the ground and get back up again. For lots of other people, that would equate to at least 640 minutes in freefall, maybe longer with a twin turbo taking you to 15K feet each time (about 73 seconds/jump for formation skydiving (belly to earth stuff). My math says thats 12 h 58 m and change in seconds, with is one entire set of Gold Freefall wings, with the 58 minutes going to the next incremental award for freefall time.

If you want Jay to teach you how to skydive, he works at Skydive Greensburg in Indiana.

Don’t live near Jay’s home DZ? Find out which drop zone is nearest to you here.

Want to know more about skydiving records? There isn’t a single place to surf to, but the United States Parachute Association is making an effort to be a common repostitory for such bookkeeping.

H/T: Enlisted Swine blog

PS: I wonder if Bill Gates chipped in for the 640 jumps?

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 14th, 2006 at 9:47 am and is filed under History, Skydiving. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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