I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but I know how to skydive. Actually, jumping out of perfectly good airplanes is my main bread and butter these days. And with around 20,000 jumps in my logbook and 36 years of experience you might say I’m something of an expert. Well, you might not say that but I like to.
There are a lot of disciplines in skydiving and not only do I know how to do them all but I’m fairly good at most of them. There is belly flying, (flying on your belly), Swooping,(the art of diving your canopy at the ground and ripping across the grass as fast as you can), wing suiting (flying in a squirrel suit) angle flying (the art of flying with your friends at very steep angles at speeds approaching 250 mph), and lastly flying head down, (the name says it all I guess).
I’m pretty good at most of them except flying head down. I can do it, but I’m not great at it. I just haven’t spent the time to perfect that skill. Comparing my skills at head down flying to guys that are really good is like saying that while yes, I can drive a car, I’m not quite ready to hit the formula 1 circuit anytime soon.
This week a group of skydivers who are slightly better than I am at flying head down are trying to set an new world record by linking 200 of them together in freefall. I know a lot of the jumpers on the record attempts including my daughter’s boyfriend Liam. I wish I could be part of the effort but my skills would only be useful in the cockpit of one of the Twin Otters.