We’ve been researching a lot about skydivers recently. Last September, our project for Skydive Australia started to open up a whole new world to us, which ain’t a mean feet – we’ve been quite a few places already. We were both surprised and in awe by what you can do in the sky and how accessible and inclusive skydiving really is. We also stumbled across a whole bunch of amazing feats fliers have achieved, so, without further ado (and shamelessly un-paraphrased off Wikipedia), we simply HAD to share a definitive list of skydiving world records.
- On October 24, 2014, Alan Eustace achieved the highest parachute jump in history, jumping from 135,890 feet(41,422 m) and drogue-falling for 4 and a half minutes. The previous height record was set on October 14, 2012 by Felix Baumgartner who still holds records for the longest and fastest free-fall by breaking the speed of sound achieving Mach 1.25 jumping from 127,852 feet (38,970 m) as part of the Red Bull Stratos U.S. Air Force Captain Joe W. Kittinger, the 4th highest jumper (102,800 feet (31,330 m), August 16, 1960), served as mission control for Baumgartner.
- World’s record for themost tandem parachute jumps in a 24-hour period is 103. This record was set in 2009 by Chip Bowlin and Kristine Gould.
- World’slargest formation in free-fall: 8 February 2006 in Udon Thani, Thailand (400 linked persons in freefall).
- World’slargest female-only formation: Jump for the Cause, 181 women from 26 countries who jumped from nine planes at 17,000 feet (5150 meters), in 2009.
- World’s largest head down formation (vertical formation): 31 July 2015 at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, U.S. (164 linked skydivers in head to Earth attitude):
- Largest female head down formation (vertical formation): 30 November 2013 at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, Arizona, U.S. (63 linked skydivers in head to Earth attitude).
- European record: 13 August 2010, Włocławek, Poland. Polish skydivers broke a record when 102 people created a formation in the air during the Big Way Camp Euro 2010. The skydive was their fifteenth attempt at breaking the record.
- World’slargest canopy formation: 100, set on 21 November 2007 in Lake Wales, Florida, U.S.
- Largest wingsuit formation: 22 September 2012, Perris Valley, California, U.S. (100 wingsuit jumpers).
- In 1929, U.S. Army Sergeant R. W. Bottriell held the world’s record for most parachute jumps with 500. At that number, Bottriell stopped parachuting and became a ground instructor.
- Australian stunt parachutist, Captain Vincent Taylor, received the unofficial record for a lowest-level jump in 1929 when he jumped off a bridge over the San Francisco Bay whose center section had been raised to 135 feet (41 meters).
- Don Kellner holds the record for the most parachute jumps, with a total of over 40,000 jumps.
- Cheryl Stearns (U.S.) holds the record for the most parachute descents by a woman, with a total of 20,000 in August 2014, as well as the most parachute jumps made in a 24-hour period by a woman—352 jumps from 8–9 November 1995.
- Erin Hogan became the world’s youngest sky diver as of 2002, when she tandem jumped at age 5.
- Bill Dause holds the record for the most accumulated freefall time with over 420 hours (30,000+ jumps).
- Jay Stokes holds the record for most parachute descents in a single day at 640.
- The Oldest Skydiver: Frank Moody, aged 101, made a tandem jump on 6 June 2004 at Skydive Cairns. The Tandem Master was Karl Eitrich. Previously, the record was unofficially generally credited (at least in the U.S.) to “Smitty the Jumper” (H. Truesdell Smith) — from around 1959 (age 61) through his last solo jump in 1974 (211th jump, age 75), to his last tandem jump in 1990 (221st jump, age 91), and even until his death in 1995 (age 96).
- Largest all-blind skydiving formation: 2, with Dan Rossi and John “BJ” Fleming on September 13, 2003.
If this is all pretty amazing but sounds a little unachievable, don’t worry. Check out who we met during our project and tell us again that skydiving’s beyond your abilities…