Freefall is one of the most beautiful experiences that life has to offer, and missing out
on the opportunity to do so is almost a sin. There is something magical about being able to freefall, being able to get together with
others in the middle of space, a place where few have been. The air is a skydiver's sanctuary.
Well, first of all, there is a big misconception here: the airplanes you will jump from are not perfectly
good to begin with. Jumping out of an airplane is not something everybody does every day, so making the first one actually
requires a combination of shear guts and plain stupidity. And I really don't know which one of the two overtakes the other
the first time you do it. Nevertheless, the common denominator is fear. Fear of an unknown medium. If you are not afraid, something is wrong with you.
- 1991 My First Jump-"Why Should I Jump Out of a Perfectly Good Airplane?"
It is perfectly natural to fear falling from an airplane travelling at 13,000 feet, then plummetting over 100 mph towards the ground.
When people think of skydiving they combine their fear of heights to the fearful sensation of falling. Skydiving does
not offer either of the two. The fear of heights comes as a result of comparing your location to other objects around you. In freefall, you have
nothing to compare your location to. You are too far away from the ground. And even though you are falling through 1000 feet every 6 seconds,
you can barely detect a change in distance to the ground below you.
What about the sensation of falling? None, because once your body reaches terminal velocity,
there will be no more acceleration, and you will actually feel WEIGHTLESS. You will feel that you are indeed flying. In a rollercoaster,
your stomach seems to fall out, because the cart accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in about 2 seconds during the drop. In skydiving, when you jump out,
you are already travelling at the speed of the airplane, about 75-80 mph. It takes about 10 seconds for you to accelerate to terminal speed, 100 mph. This
acceleration is so gradual, that you don't feel that you are actually falling.
I can still remember my first jump, as do all skydivers. The drive to the dropzone, the ground preparations, the ride
to altitude...AHHHH!!! It's all coming back to me again. You are at 12,500 feet above the ground, your instructor points out the window, and
you cannot believe how high you are. You look at your altimeter, only to confirm that what he says is true. The door opens, and all the air
starts rushing in. The adrenalin is RISING! You look out the door, and all you see beyond the edge of the door is just empty space! Holy shit, you're actually going to
do it, how did you get here? why are you doing this? It's too late! You are holding on to the strut of the airplane with your two hands, and the
instructor is giving you the count.... READY! SET!, GOOOOOOOO! You are finally FREE! You can't believe the ecstasy, it is complete
sensory overload. You don't really know what's going on, you just know that this is the most fun you've ever had, you keep freefalling, hoping
that this feeling will never go away! Suddenly, the parachute opens, the freefall is over. WOW! You're hooked, this is incredible, you're never
going to stop doing this!
And that's exactly what happened. Ever since 1991, I have never stopped jumping. I have almost 1500 jumps now, and I plan to
make thousands more during the rest of my life...
Are you still wondering why you ever want to make your first jump? Here's a couple of reasons:
"Only skydivers know why the birds sing..."
"Parachutists stay up longer, and skydivers go down faster..."
"Because the door was open..."
"If riding an airplane is flying, then rowing on a boat is swimming, get out of the
medium, and just JUMP!"
1992 Tandem Jump with my Father
This was a very special jump for me. In 1992, my father came to visit me
in Texas. At the time I was fairly new in the sport, I had been jumping
for about 6 months, and had made about 100 jumps. I asked him if he wanted
to go skydiving. My question did not have a simple yes/no answer. Like anybody
else, his first reaction could have been: "Are you nuts?" But he actually
obligued because his own son was asking him to go up in the air with him.
The fact is that he would have never gone skydiving if I had not asked him
to. HE HAD A BLAST!. I was able to show him what freefall is like, and now
he understands why I jump all the time, and gives me his complete support.
Thanks DAD! My fondest memory of this jump: when I docked with the tandem, my father gave me
a pat on the head. You can see him about to do just that in the picture.
1993 Ultralight Jump at a Peruvian Beach
I had come back to Peru to visit my family, and I wanted to celebrate my
200th jump. I had a highschool friend who had some friends at the local
ultralight club, so I asked him if I could jump one. He didn't want to
lose a friend, so initially he said he couldn't do anything for me. I told
him I would be fine, so he arranged the airplane. The ultralight was a
2-seater Beaver, with a push-prop on the back. Getting out was very tricky.
I had to coordinate my jump with the pilot so that when I gave him the signal,
I would jump to the right, and he would bank the ultralight to the left, to
clear the propeller. We climbed to 2000 feet. Oh, it was so sweet. The
forward speed was about 25 mph, so it felt much different than the aircraft
I had jumped before. I landed on the beach, a multitude of people clapped
and ran to greet me. What an awesome experience.
1993 727 Jet Jump at World Freefall ConventionThe World Freefall Convention, 1993. I never thought it could be possible
to jump from a Boeing 727, but apparently D.B. Cooper was able to do it
a long time ago. After hijacking the airplane, he escaped by freefalling away,
then landing with his parachute. In memory of D.B., they brought this 727
to the Convention, and I was on the second load. They had never done this
before, so exit speeds were quite high, around 150 mph for the first two
loads. Jumping out of a jet is literally, a BLAST! When you come off
the back of the aircraft, you feel as if you just hit a wall, only it is a
wall of air. The following year we were doing 10-way speed stars from the
Jet, and today, 727 jumps are available once a year during the Convention.
Thousands have jumped from the jet since then. It is still great. But man,
that first year, it scared a lot of people.
1994 Naked Jump into Nudist ColonyWhen I tell people that I actually made a naked jump, they look at me funny.
We made this jump into a nudist colony in Florida during National Nude Awareness
Week. And believe me, I had no idea that people actually celebrated this until
I did this jump. We jumped from 7000 feet after a rainshower, so it was
pretty cold, and with no clothes on, it felt worse. The freefall was uneventful,
by that I mean that none of our private parts fell off during opening shock,
so I was pretty glad for that. After we landed, we post-dived inside a pool, we
were invited hamburgers and beer, we all watched our video. We figured that right
after the jump, we would put our shorts back on and go home, but that wasn't the
case. We landed, we ate, we drank, we had fun, and by the time we remembered to
go home, 5 hours had gone by. We all forgot that we were wearing any clothes! I
am not particularly proud of this, but it is a strange event that I have to chuckle
about. To date, I have still not used the VIP pass to any of the participating
nudist colonies in the nation, which we were all awarded when we landed.
1994 232-Way World Record Attempts
I participated in this event in 1994 and 1995, in Lake Wales, Florida. These record attempts are historical.
Even though the record was not beat, one of the most impressive feats of the event
was the number of aircraft involved in each jump, 10, yes, that's right, TEN AIRCRAFT!
5 Twin Otters, 2 Casas, 2-DC3's, and a King Air. I believe we actually used a Pilatus
Porter and another Otter the following year as replacements. I had the opportunity of watching the
aircraft formation once from the ground, it was the most impressive display I have ever seen, ten
airplanes in formation, dropping over 230 skydivers! Simply breathtaking, and lots of fun.
1996 104-Way Texas Record Formation
With only 8 attempts, we were able to complete this 104-way over Dallas in 1996, beating
the earlier record of 80 several years prior. The best skydivers from all of Texas, and from out of
state got together for this goal. After completing this formation, we then
attempted 2-point 104-way sequentials during the rest of the event. We came really close
to breaking this record too! Jumps were made from 3 Twin Otters, a Skyvan, and a Pilatus
Porter. Very smooth flying. I had lots of fun rotating between aircraft, so I got to see the formation
during my approach from a lot of different angles. The variety of the jumps and the weather made
the whole experience fantastic. God I love jumping....
"Crosskeys Speed" Training JumpsTraining Jumps
1997 4-Way Team
In 1997, I was part of a team made up of 4 guys with an awesome dream: to place in the top 10 skydiving teams of the nation. In preparation
for the 1997 U.S. Nationals held in Perris Valley, California, one of our teammates broke a leg 1 week prior to the
event, and we could not go. With two guys from New York, and two guys from Florida,
we got together at least once a month to crank out some beautiful skydives. We trained in New Jersey, Deland, and Arizona. Above you can see "Cross Keys Speed" cranking out formations at a fast pace in Arizona.
1997 100-Way Jewel
The best 100 competition skydivers were invited to this event, and
the hardest formation ever assembled in skydiving history was built. This highly symmetric formation is extremely hard for many reasons, one of them is that
skydivers are required to build "in-outs" and "donuts", where many skydivers (as many as half of them) could be facing away from the center of the formation.
Another difficult thing about this formation is that because of the proximity of the jumpers, this formation does not like to fall fast, unlike others with
lots of openings in it. Therefore, the outside rows of this formation are hard to complete. In order for everything to go well, it requires very fast falling
people in the inside, and lightweights of very experienced floaters on the outside. 100-way jewel, what a beautiful thing, it flew for 6 seconds! Prior to this
record, all of us were performing 4 and 6 point 32-ways, and 3-point 64-ways. There were many attempts made in the last couple of years to do the jewel, however the only
place it could have been accomplished is in Arizona. And it happened. Who knows what Airspeed and Arizona have prepared for
the years to come,, but it surely will again
congregate some of the best flyers in the world, to do more incredible stuff.
1997 4-way training -
South Africa Teamh South Africa Team
These are easily some of the most gratifying and awesome jumps I've ever done. We jumped with two member from Team South Africa, that placed 3rd in the World
Skydiving Championships. Just plain HARDCORE SKYDIVING at it's best!!!!
1998: Second Tandem
My dad had the courage to do it all over again, and remind himself of the pleasure of skydiving a few years ago. This time he did it in Zephyrhills. Team Frost, plus a
cameraman, all docked with the tandem. My dad this time was able to share the sky with us.
This was definitely an unforgettable moment for both of us.
1998-2000 Team Frost
Team Frost has been my main
focus in skydiving for the last 2 years, and I have plans to continue the
tradition of Frost in Florida.. The 4way team renovates every year
at the end of each skydiving season, marked by the US Nationals in
September. The team has earned its reputation by placing first at the US
Nationals in the Advanced Category for Formation Skydiving. For 2001, we
plan to make Frost an 8-way team.
Mission Impossible Jumps
George Jicha came from Arizona to put together these awesome jumps from the talent pool in Florida. We look forward to
having more of these events soon.
4-way Training Camp with the Norgies:
the Ditch in Deland.....
with Friends in Deland:
Ways in Deland:
Awesome Skydiving Videos
Fast paced 2-way over Skydive Space Center (1.2 MB)
Team Frost, tearing up the skies of
Drop Zones Attended
- Skydive Deland (FL)
- Skydive Sebastian (FL)
- World Skydiving Center (Lake
- Air Adventures
- Skydive Space Center (Titusville, FL)
- Skydive City
- Flagler Aviation (FL)
- Skydive San Marcos (TX)
- Skydive Spaceland (League City,TX)
- Skydive Dallas (TX)
- World Freefall Convention (Quincy, IL)
- Perris Valley Skydiving (CA)
- Skydive Arizona
- Skydive Tecumseh (Tecumseh, MI)
- Freefall Adventures
- Collique AFB (Lima, PERU).
- Azul do Vento
Skydive.Net-Swiss Skydiving Pages
Parachute Industry Association
United States Parachute Association
World Freefall Convention
Advanced Training Concepts by Jack Jefferies
Skydiving Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The Skydive Archive