Tuesday, February 22, 2011

10 Very Sensational Skydiving Feats!

According to the U.S. Parachute Association, Americans make over 2.6 million jumps annually. But some thrill seekers fall much harder for the extreme sport than others, and keep on keepin' on—throwing themselves off high bases and out of airplanes until they break a national record or, at the very least, make their own personal contribution to the sport. Below, check out photos that best relay the elevated height of excitement for this extreme pastime.

 Heights of Love
Sydney, Australia–based Glen Singleman and Heather Swan, who are the only known husband-and-wife BASE jumping team, are shown above, making the world’s highest jump in wingsuits by leaping off the 21,666-foot-high exit point on Mount Meru, Tanzania. 

Santa off His Sleigh
A skydiver in a Santa Claus costume lands in water following a dive over Sydney to promote the Australia-based adventure company Adrenalin, whose festive offerings included tandem skydives with Santa.

Airshow-ing Off
On November 7, 2008—at the 7th annual China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai of Guangdong Province—the China Air Force skydiving team performed a parachute show.

The Pajama Game
Three fliers in jammies demonstrate the hybrid skydiving formation, in which a vertical flier (hanger) is positioned inside the bubble of airflow to increase overall flying speed by adding weight but minimizing drag, according to skydiving instructor Rick Bray of SkyDiving.com. 

It's a Bird, It's a Plane…
In October 2009, Collectors' Quest—a social network for the collector's community—organized a promotional "Superhero Skydive" in New Paltz, New York. Those who participated were asked to bring their own costume, though replacement underwear was provided (for the faint of heart).

Attached at the Limbs
In 2006, this group of 400 expert formation divers—who hailed from 31 countries—jumped from 23,000 feet from five different Royal Thai Air Force C-130s over Udon Thani, Thailand, forming a flower-like arrangement in the sky within 80 seconds. 

Up Above the World So High
On February 17, 1973, the Elsinore Flying Farkle Team—who was known to push the envelope when it came to freefall formation—created the first ever "16-way night star," which the team of experienced flyers completed at 6,000 feet within 40 seconds.
Blind Faith
On September 13, 2003, John Fleming and Dan Rossi became the first two blind skydivers to ever be in freefall together—setting the record for the largest freefall formation of blind skydivers. The pair flew from 14,000 feet.

Stacked Sky-High
Shown is a stacking canopy formation, a type of Vertical Formation Skydiving that requires jumpers to grip each other's limbs or jumpsuit grippers while positioned in the highest-speed body position. The most common stacking formation is a " 4-way," which includes four jumpers.

It Canopy Done

In 2005, on November 25 and 26, Dave Hillebrandt of United Space Alliance, Kevin Keenan of Lockheed Martin and NASA's James Bolton were part of the record-setting 81- and 85-person canopy formation dives that took place over Lake Wales, Florida.

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