Time in Freefall for One Skydive
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
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.
number of people in one Freefall Formation
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.
numbers, male with the most skydives
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
numbers, female with the most skydives
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
elderly human to achieve a solo skydive
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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