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Channels: Living - Recreation

Tags: skydiving adventures - jumping out of a boeing 727 - d. b. cooper - skydiving - exciting hobbies

 

 

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How (and why) I Parachuted Out of a Boeing 727 Passenger Jet

Views: 1,192
Added: Thu. Jan 31, 2013 1:03pm
Posted in: Recreation


How (and why) I Parachuted Out of a Boeing 727 Passenger Jet 

Being a rather late bloomer, I came to the sport of skydiving at the advanced age of 55 and immediately found myself on the fast track in a concerted effort to earn the highest of the 4 levels of skydiving certifications – the Master Skydiver License.  I would often jump a dozen or more times every weekend.  Finally, having achieved the license, I decided to spread my newly certified wings at the 1996 World Freefall Convention in Quincy, IL.

As a retired airline pilot who at one time was a Boeing 727 Captain, I was particularly intrigued by one of the jumps that would be available – a skydive from a Boeing 727 jet!  I was further excited about the prospect of earning a coveted D.B. Cooper number.  If you are not familiar with the story of D.B. Cooper, here is a link to the intriguing story:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._B._Cooper

The day of the jump finally arrived, but I found myself a bit apprehensive about the fact that the jump run would be conducted at a much faster speed than I was used to exciting an aircraft.  To further add to the fun of the jump, a 4-way formation was planned with two of my skydiving buddies and one other person whom we had met.  The seats had been removed from the aircraft, which was quite packed with eager jumpers. 

The jump run finally started and as I exited the rear of the aircraft, it felt like my shoulders and skydiving rig were all going to be ripped off as I hit the airstream.  I got myself stable, found my partners, enjoyed our formation flying and then deployed my parachute only to discover that the Quincy airport was nowhere to be found!  I set about the task of finding a suitable landing spot as I floated earthward.  Finally, I spied a pickup truck parked on a farm with some people in the bed apparently enjoying the festivities of watching skydivers float down.  I rapidly spiraled down to them and landed adjacent to the truck and was greeted by the gleeful, smiling faces of three children in the bed of the truck.  The driver of the truck offered me a ride back to the airport, and I jumped into the bed with the kids  -  we were apparently so far away that the ride took 20 minutes.

During those exciting days in Quincy, I also had the opportunity to jump out of a Super Constellation in TWA colors, a Bell Helicopter, the world’s only flying Ford Tri-Motor, a DC-3, a hot air balloon, and numerous “normal” jump aircraft.  

I finally gave up skydiving after accumulating 657 jumps and 12 hours and 40 minutes of free-fall time.  The sport had become too mundane for this adrenalin junky!



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Sandy Scott

The Joy/Pain of Time Trialing!!
 

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