Thursday, March 15, 2007

THERE'S HIGH...THEN THERE'S AIR FORCE HIGH

While in the army at Ft. Ord, I joined the civilian jump club on base. I held a C-License (#12045) and a Jumpmaster rating as well. In total, I made 200 jumps. Most of them were at the Ft. Ord Sport Parachute Club, but I did make many others at locations in California and Illinois. It was nothing but fun, fun, fun. More importantly, though, I made some life-long friends from the experience. I'm very lucky.

The highest we were able to jump from at Ft. Ord was 12,500 ft. Any higher and you begin to have oxygen issues. So, twelve-five was fine with me, plus it allows for about one minute of solid free fall. I used to think that was high, that is, until I learned of Capt. Joe Kittinger. He was a pioneer in high altitude jumps--Major General Chuck Yeager needed a plane to reach the speed of sound, Kittinger didn't.

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