Skydiving World Records

Longest Time in Freefall for One Skydive

The greatest freefall delay made in one jump was carried out by Captain Joseph Kittinger. He jumped from an altitude of 84,700ft (25,820m) from a balloon in Tularosa, New Mexico, United States on the 16th August, 1960. His freefall lasted for 4 minutes and 37 seconds before his canopy automatically opened. Throughout his skydive he achieved freefall speeds of up to 614 miles per hour (1,000 kph).
After the skydive, Kittinger commented that he could not tell at what speed he was falling, because his jumpsuit was very thick and he did not have any points of reference to relate his freefall speed to. Before he carried out the world record jump, Kittinger made several training jumps. On one of these training jumps, Kittinger’s hand was exposed to temperatures as low as 70 degrees Celsius, when part of his space suit that was still being developed, ruptured.
Kittinger did not have a Cypres to open his parachute, but a crude automatic opening mechanism to open his round main parachute.
After the world record, Kittinger retired but continued to distinguish himself by making long distance balloon flights.
Over the last few years a Frenchman named Michael Furnier has been preparing to break this record but has not made any attempts to this date.

Largest number of people in one Freefall Formation

Thailand was the setting for the largest freefall formation that was comprised of 400 skydivers of over forty nationalities. On the 8th February 2006, 400 skydivers jumped from 5 Hercules and joined hands. News and video footage was covered worldwide for this momentous achievement in teamwork.

Jump numbers, male with the most skydives

Don Kellner carried out his 34,000th skydive on the 13th July, 2003. Don, from the United States, made his first skydive on the 14th June in 1961. It is now estimated that Don now has over 36,000 jumps, so his world record may be updated soon.

Jump numbers, female with the most skydives

The female with the most parachute descents record is held by Cheryl Stearns who had 15,560 in August 2003. From the United States, Cheryl has also been working on a life saving parachute system for space shuttle crews, called the Strato Quest project. She is a remarkable woman and is the most successful competitive skydiver, having gained 30 world records and at one time, she had to her credit 4 world records at the same time. As an endurance test, Cheryl also has the world record for most parachute descents completed in 24 hours- she made 352 jumps altogether and achieved this record in 1995. Also an extremely accomplished pilot, Cheryl has over 16,000 flying hours and is currently testing new technology to break the longest freefall record.

Most elderly human to achieve a solo skydive

The world record for the oldest person to make a parachute descent is held by Herb Tanner, who was aged 92 years old. He broke the record on the 19th June in 1998 and made a solo static line jump. Herb wanted to have a place in the Guinness book of World Records, and found out that a solo static line jump would accredit him with a record. He did look at making a tandem skydive, but the oldest person to jump a tandem skydive was a lady who was aged 99 years old.


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