Seriously, who was the first lunatic to jump out of a plane with a parachute attached to his back? And why did nobody try to talk him out of it? I can just imagine the scene down at the local pub. “Guys, guys, I got a – I got a wonderful idea.” “Dave, you’re pissed – sit down, son.” “No, no – *hiccup* – let me finish. I bloody love you guys, right, but I’m… are you ready? I’m… going… to… jump out of a plane!” “Erm, what?” “With a parachute, of course. Why… why are you all staring at me?” “Well…” “Do, do – do you think it’s not a good idea? I’ve spent months working on this. Oh, thanks guys…” “No! No! We… we… support you.” “Really?” “Yeah, sure. You go jump out of a plane.” “Ah, thanks guys,” *runs away slams door*. “Erm, I think he’s actually serious. Should we tell his wife?” “Nah, I’ve wanted to be with her for years…”
It needn’t surprise anyone to learn that it was a Frenchman who was the first person to be mad enough to launch himself from a thing with a parachute attached to his back. People think it’s safe, of course. I mean, there’s only one death for every 150,000 jumps in America yearly, about 21 deaths per year. That’s 0.0007% of all jumps. But, as I always say, 0.0007 is literally not nought.
It’s surprising that Alan Eustace is still alive considering he holds the record for the highest parachute jump, 25 miles up. Of course, Felix Baumgartner is still the fastest parachute jumper in history, reaching Mach 1.25. He didn’t die either, nor did Michael Holmes. His parachute failed when he was at 12,000 feet. From that height, he plummeted as hard as you could imagine into the ground, but only shattered his ankle and punctured a lung. I say ‘only’. I mean, neither is great…
Despite what you see in the movies, you can’t talk whilst skydiving. With the wind whistling past you at 100-miles-per-hour, you’re practically deaf. Pretty much rendering your tandem expert little more than a bum buddy. And no, we do not go up when we deploy our ‘chutes. It’s an optical illusion. The guy filming deploys his or her parachute after the guy or girl he’s filming, giving you the impression that person is going up. Pretty cool, huh? What do you mean no?
Despite all the danger, people do love to skydive. A man named Jonas got a tattoo whilst skydiving, once. Michael Zang jumped 500 times in one day. That said, Don Kellner has jumped just over 41,000 times in his life. I mean, two million people do it worldwide every year. It is immensely popular. Yet it just doesn’t do it for me. I’ve never skydived. I hate flying, for a start, so you would struggle to get me into a plane in the first place, although, upon doing that, if you gave me the option to get out of one as fast as humanly possible, I would jump at the chance. Plus, you’ll never get me to do something that could cost me my life. Give me Scrabble over danger any day of the week…
I just… I just don’t get it. Why would you jump out of a plane? A plane! Jump – out – plane – huh? A PLANE! Are you bloody mad!
So, as it turns out, a Frenchman was the first person who thought skydiving would be a good idea. And boy, he really had issues…
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