“Check Your Altimeter”

For those who simply want to see me jump out of a plane, I’ll save the fanfare for after the video. Enjoy!

After a gruelling five month wait, I made it to Dallas to visit Chris and redeem our skydiving rain checks. When I visited in November, the weather prevented us from jumping, so we ended up at a wacky amusement park and the rodeo.

This time, our luck pulled through, though just by a hair. Dallas and the surrounding area was remarkably clear, but rough winds plagued the jump zone. Our flight and subsequent jumps were the last of the day.

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Rewind a bit to the pre-skydiving class and chat with my instructor, Jack. Both the class and jack emphasized the process we were about to execute. Once we jumped, check the altimeter every few seconds. Once we hit 7,000 feet, lock eyes on the altimeter, then wave and trigger the parachute release once we hit 6,000 feet.

As you saw in the video, I was terrified, and if you watch again after reading the instructions above, you’ll see that I followed literally none of the instructions. Mainly, I tried to focus on breathing (it’s near-impossible to breathe through the mouth while you’re falling at 120 mph). Jack pulled the chute, and as we slowly descended he remarked “You didn’t look once!” referring, of course, to my failure to check my altimeter.

We landed safely, debriefed (I received understandably low marks), and headed to lunch, where I easily devoured a pound of Texas brisket. At least I did something right.

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