Perfectly Good Airplanes

Skydive  025Skydive  042We have some good friends from Denver who came to visit Southern California last weekend. Malcolm and his daughter Natalie are wonderful folks who are mostly quite normal except for this peculiar tendency that they have to repeatedly jump out of perfectly good airplanes.Skydive  002

So while Brenda visited with Angel at the hospital, I went up to the airfield to check out the action.

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There is more than one way you can get hurt ...

There is more than one way you can get hurt …

They are expert and very experienced skydivers of course.  The thought scares me to death, but they absolutely LOVE it.

Natalie happens to be a world record holder for an all women’s heads down group formation (63 jumpers, smashing the prior world record of 41!!) and she just celebrated her 1100th jump.  Rock star!  See videos of the amazing stunt here and here.

They came to Elsinore, Ca where there was a skydiving event with 4 aircraft flying repeatedly to deliver groups of these mildly unhinged enthusiasts to 12,500′ above the landing zone where they all then willingly jump out the window.Skydive  049

Skydive  010I had fun watching the airplanes over head “poop out” all the skydivers, then the sky would fill with colorful canopies gracefully circling.

Skydive  034Some would come swooping into the landing zone at zoomy high speeds only to flare out really close to the ground and ever so gently set down on their feet.  Very impressive to see the level of control exerted by these expert flyers.Skydive  031

Skydive  071Skydive  066While there I met a gentleman from the UK who was flying a special canopy from the Royal British Legion Extreme Human Flight Team.  This group does fundraising and builds awareness for charities that support the members of all the British Armed Forces.Skydive  074

Skydive  073Dean is a member of the British Army as well as the display team manager for the Royal British Legion with over 4000 jumps!

Dean jumped flying the Legion’s flag and his canopy featured the distinctive red Poppy flower, symbol of remembrance for blood shed in battle.Skydive  076

Skydive  040Skydive  044At these events it is possible for the jumpers to go up over and over again.  Our friends got in something like 15 or 16 jumps in 2 days!  Skydive  045

Skydive  048There is an area where they lay out and pack their canopies … very carefully of course.  Then they get assigned to a flight (usually only a few minutes later) and off they go.Skydive  007

Skydive  056After chatting with them about it over the years and knowing of their love of this sport, it was really cool to see Malcolm and Natalie in action.  I can only imagine the rush it must be to fall free and then fly around under these maneuverable canopies.  Skydive  050

Malcolm (yellow blue and white canopy) zoomed in right over me.  And Natalie (green and black) landed nearby.

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Don;t forget the selfie

Don’t forget the selfie

Skydive  064Skydive  065So glad I made the trip up to Elsinore to see and learn about this cool sport and spend time with friends from home.

Afterwards, we picked Brenda up at the vet and had a nice dinner together.

~ HectorSkydive  043

 

11 thoughts on “Perfectly Good Airplanes

  1. My daughter wants to do this with her dad. Al, of course, had to jump out of a perfectly good airplane during his military days. Why oh why does she go for those extreme sports???

  2. Beautiful images, as usual! You’re so adventurous, I’m surprised
    you didn’t go up on a tandem jump. I did it once just to check it
    off my list, but I have to say I felt more comfortable flying planes
    than jumping out of them. But it brings back memories!

    ~Steve

  3. The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.
    Albert Einstein
    These folks are C R A Z Y!!!!!!

  4. There was a time in my life when I thought this would be exhilarating. I am now at an age where I just wonder what I might break if I attempted such a wild stunt. Great images Hector!

    • And don’t miss clicking on the videos of Natalie and 62 of her friends doing the formation record – sooooooo cool!

      H

  5. Thanks for coming to see us jump Hector! It was great to see you and Brenda and hear about all of your travels! Your pictures are amazing!!

    • I had fun being there and learning about your sport – and those videos of you doing that heads down record jump are jaw dropping!!!! So good to see you.

  6. Hi kids, what a great post! Beautiful pics capturing the excitement of the day! I’m actually a bit surprised that you guys didnt strap on a parachute and soar like birds in the wind before plumetting down to mother earth! I can’t help but to think, that if I were there, Hector would of made me take the jump on yet another attempt on my life! : )… Timing is everything!

    I did see your previous post regarding Angel. She’s truly a furry trooper and the loving relationship that you all share is the perfect environment for both you and her. She could not be in better hands. In my next life, I want to be your Dog! : )…

    You are all loved and appreciated…

    • Ha, ha. Hector hasn’t been attracted to parachuting in the past, but he came back talking about how cool it looked. As for me, no thanks.

      Angel came home today, she’s doing better, not completely out of the woods but we’re hopeful.

      Love you too!

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