Tue, Aug 07, 2012
Nearly One-Hundred-Fourty Free-Fallers Decorate The Sky Over Northern Illinois
It took them three days and 15 attempts to get it done, but 138 skydivers hooked up in a massive snowflake formation Friday evening, freefalling together as speeds up to 220 miles per hour over Ottawa, IL southwest of Chicago.
The formation was witnessed by three judges from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, which certified that the group had broken the record last set in 2009.
The group was chosen in a series of tryouts and camps. The stunt is considered very dangerous, and because of the altituded needed at the start required oxygen for both the jumpers and the pilots. The Associated Press reports that for the record attempt, all 138 skydivers stuffed themselves into six different airplanes and climbed to their starting altitude of 18.500 feet.
The group included four videographers that were not part of the formation who recorded the jump for the FAI judges. One organizer said if the jump was not recorded, "then it wasn't really done."
The record attempt was made as part of a 10-day skydiving festival which took place in Illinois. The attempt drew hopeful paticipants from as far away as Europe and Australia.
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