Yes, I like to jump out of airplanes for recreational
purposes! My first jump was about 14 years ago and the idea was to
cure my fear of heights. The expectation was to make one jump and be
done with it. The first jump was scary as all hell, but I was
immediately hooked and have been doing it since. And the
fear-of-heights thing is long gone!
Enjoying the post-jump afterglow
HALO Skydive - 30,000 feet
One of the more unique jumps I've done is a skydive from 30,000 feet.
One of the requirements for this jump was to take a flight physiology course
from the Air Force, which includes a ride in a decompression chamber.
I took the course at
Beale Air Force Base.
The chamber ride was interesting. We were wearing military oxygen
masks and helmets. After a quick trip to 5000 feet (of pressure) and a
period of pre-breathing O2 to reduce blood nitrogen levels, they simulated a
rapid ascent to 25,000 feet. At this point, they directed us to remove
our O2 masks and start working math problems on a clip board. After
working through several add/subtract problems easily, I came to one I just
couldn't solve: 21 - 8. My other symptoms were tingling and light
euphoria (but light euphoria is better than no euphoria!).
The day before the jump, we met at Skydance in Davis for a briefing and
to make two low-altitude (13,000 feet) test jumps with the equipment.
We then met at 5am the next day to get geared up:
My friend Paul said "You look like
you're ready to start a war!"
I used my regular parachute. We used a standard military bailout
rig - the bailout O2 tank is on my left hip. We boarded the plane,
hooked into the on-board O2 system and pre-breathed 100% O2 for about 45
minutes before taking off to reduce the dissolved nitrogen levels in our
blood to avoid decompression sickness. The ride to 30,000 feet in the
Caravan took about an hour: about half that for the first 24,000 feet and
the rest for the remaining 6,000 feet.
The jump was amazing. The sky was a deep blue that you just don't
see at low altitudes. But most impressive was the view. San
Francisco, Monterey, and Lake Tahoe were clearly visible. It was -30
degrees C at altitude, but thanks to being sealed up, the cold wasn't bad.
Freefall lasted about 2 minutes, 40 seconds.
||July 3, 1992 in Hollister, CA.
|Total number of jumps
|Total freefall time
||10 hours, 10 minutes
|Number of different aircraft types jumped from
||30,000 feet (on 9/21/02)
|Number of different countries jumped in
|Number of different states jumped in
|Number of different drop zones jumped at
|Biggest freefall formation I've been in
Number of jumps from various
|Sikorsky S55 helicopter
Places Jumped At
Adventure Aerosports, Hollister, CA
Skydive Monterey Bay, Marina, CA
Bay Area Skydiving, Byron, CA
Skydance Skydiving, Yolo County, CA
Blue Sky Adventures, Paso Robles, CA
Skydive Arizona, Eloy, AZ
Marana Parachute Center, Marana, AZ
Air Adventures of Clewiston, Clewiston, FL
Skydive City, Zephyrhills, FL
Sydney Skydivers, Picton, Sydney, NSW Australia