Sunday, August 15, 2010

Senior skydiving

I had to laugh when I saw this article in the local newspaper about a 97-year-old man who made his first skydive at Skydive Snohomish where Smart Guy and I jump regularly. This picture shows me under my Stiletto 135 in the front, and him under his Stiletto 170 behind me. (A Stiletto is a style of parachute manufactured by Performance Designs; click to enlarge any picture.)

If you read that article, you'll see that the Drop Zone owner requires all customers older than 65 to get clearance from their doctor. Yesterday while we were at the DZ, I asked Tyson if he wanted one from our doctors; he smiled and said it wasn't necessary. Then I realized that we are indeed the oldest active skydivers out there.

We each made three jumps yesterday and had a great day. We both would have made another one, but the plane was temporarily suspended from operations while they checked out a possible oil leak. Even though the oil pressure and all systems looked good, the pilot and Tyson took precautions so there wouldn't be any problems with the plane. Instead of staying around (it was already 4:00 pm), we took ourselves off the load and headed home. It's always a satisfying feeling to have had those jumps and a good day playing in the sky with friends. I'm sure Linny and Christine stayed to make as many jumps as they could before the sun went down yesterday.

We have more than an hour's drive home in pretty heavy traffic, so it's not much fun to stay until the very last minute. With so many skydives under my belt, I'm no longer hungry for every last jump. Yesterday, Jennifer Kemp borrowed one of my many jumpsuits so she can make her 100th jump today using it. I would say she looks quite fetching in it, don't you think?
She still doesn't have her own jumpsuit, as they tend to cost a fair amount (around $300-$400), and I haven't used this one for years. But I still carry it around with me because it provides me with more range when I wear it; I fall more slowly in it. I am gradually populating the DZ with my jumpsuits, since my old instructor suit is being worn by Christine until hers arrives. I've got five jumpsuits and these days I only use two of them. Here's Christine:
One of the reasons I don't use this one much any more is because it's black and quite hot to wear in the heat of summer. It also has all those advertisements on it which I used to think were really cool, but these days not so much. When you're almost 68 years old, the only thing you want to advertise at the DZ is that you're still there! And active! BTW, if you're interested, I wrote a post about how I became a skydiver over on my other blog back in January. I seem to have some followers who don't know the story.
:-)

18 comments:

  1. Those lovely young ladies are looking good in suits that also fit you!
    That's quite an amazing hobby you have.

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  2. I just love reading about your skydiving hobby. Really brightens my day.

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  3. You continue to amaze me 'young lady'...
    Those suits are really chic, not to mention the young ladies wearing them. You must be fit as a fiddle to skydive as you do, I'm afraid horse riding was the most dangerous hobby, I partook in ;)
    Awesome picture !

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  4. You absolutely amaze me, DJan!

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  5. wow. what a rush...never been skydiving...though i would like to give it a try...maybe. smiles. bet the view is amazing....

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  6. I had a few giggles over this post! I think 3 jumps in one day is amazing and for the old fella of 97 to do it too, impossible to comprehend.
    I like your jumpsuits and agree about the black one with all the adverts and yes, it would be hot. I can see that. I persuaded Larry not to buy a black car (with black seats) for the same reason. You don't see many black cars in Tennessee!!!
    Take Care, Blessings, Star

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  7. Funny, these younger jumpers don't have anything over you at all, you really are something!!

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  8. Pretty fashionable jumping suits and they look great in them...I give them all a hug for bravery! ha

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  9. Great of you to share your suits! It sounds like you had another great weekend in the sky! My nephew did his first jump last week, and when I talked to his Mom she said it was on her list of things to do..I told her to go for it! ( She is a Breast Cancer Survivor):)

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  10. hmmm. Wonder if I'll ever hit 90. My mom is 94. Physically healthy, though a very slow walker. And she has dementia. Can't imagine her ever sky diving. LOL.

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  11. I think only special people should do things like this. You must be special. I don't see how anybody can just do this almost like mortgaging the house to get some cash to gamble at Las Vegas. I mean for "fun."

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  12. I don't think I could ever do this! Looks like so much fun! You are so brave!!

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  13. You have a fashion plate of jump suits in your closet. lol I can identify with the 68 year old comment...like I'm still here and active.

    Good post.

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  14. I love the shot of you and Smart Guy in the air, really cool photo. That is quite an array of jump suits you have, I know it would be hot in the summer but I really like the black one.

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  15. 'We each made three jumps yesterday and had a great day...' Three...? Amazing.

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  16. I'll take the slow suit! Actually is there an even slower suit? On second thought, I'll just stay inside the airplane. You're amazing Djan!

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  17. I just found your blog after you apparently found mine. I used to skydive out of Albany Oregon until the DZ shut down. I would have to drive up to Molalla or down to Cottage Grove to keep up the sport so I sold my rig.

    I loved the canopy ride more than freefall so I would often to hop-n-pops from 3,000. But it really is strange to have one foot on the tire of a Cessna watching it in flight FROM THE OUTSIDE! I always thought that was cool.

    I should do another jump sometime, they would probably require me to do an AFF having been grounded for so long.

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  18. Why am I not at all surprised by your generosity? I love how active you and Smart Guy are! Are ya'll still going to be jumping at 97?

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