Wednesday, October 01, 2008


[queue Van Halen - Jump!]

Something Vicki's always wanted to do... and something I just don't have an itch for... has been jumping out of an airplane.

Her friend Linn Lyons found a place down in Rolla, and they planned a trip. Vicki told Kevin about it, and apparently he had the same death-defying urge. And so it was set.

Angela feels the same way as I do about jumping. It just seems like such an unnecessary risk. Especially for the price. But hey, if I can spend $500 on a trip to the mountains, the cost for Vicki and Kevin combined came in under that. So who am I? Different strokes. (no, I'm not Gary Coleman)

Kevin and Angela came in on Friday night as we had to get up early to be at the Vichy airport just north of Rolla by 8:30 am. We sped off in plenty of time and were there shortly after 8:00 am. Linn showed up about the same time. They signed their lives away and paid their dough. And we waited.

[Queue Tom Petty - Learning to Fly]

They take a couple of people up at a time in a small plane. You get strapped to the belly of a professional skydiver (tandem) and they fly you up to about 12,000 feet. This takes about 25 minutes. The plane is a white spot against the sky, barely recognizable as a plane. They cut the engine for a minute, and you step out.

[Queue Tom Petty - Free Fallin']

You fall for about 5,000 feet, and then they deploy the chute. If that one doesn't work, they cut that one away and deploy a second chute. One jumper had to do that ... the ones that went up right before Kevin and Vicki went up.

They got about one jump in per hour. First it was a guy who kept getting rained out. Then Linn went up by herself because she had hers filmed, meaning another jumper with a camera had to go with her.

So after about 40 or 50 seconds of free fall, the chutes come open and they glide down for about 4 or 5 minutes and land in a grassy field.

We don't know why, but of the morning group, Vicki and Kevin were last.... so they were getting kind of antsy. The little girl in Vicki was fighting her external adult and occasionally peeking through. :-) Kinda cute, and I sympathized.

[Queue REO Speedwagon - Time for Me to Fly]

And finally they got to go. They took a different plane for some reason. Angela and I were familiar with the drill now from the previous three jumps, and we timed and watied, but never saw the plane. We saw other planes in other locations. And at some point we looked up. They had just deployed. So we missed their free-fall.

Apparently this plane came across from a different direction than the other three trips that morning.

I took pictures, but it was difficult. The lighting wasn't ideal, and their final approach was straight out of the sun. But I got a few.

We all went to Steak and Shake in Rolla for lunch, and then drove home. Brian, Kristin, and Trenton came over that evening and we watched baseball and talked and ate junk. And played with the baby, of course.

We babysat Sunday while Brian and Kristin went down to the lake. Had a nice, calm day with Trenton, doing nothing in particular. It was a good day.


  1. Sure sounds exciting to me, wish I had been with Vicki :-) I have always thought I'd like to do it, but not be strapped to anyone.

    I look forward to your updates! Keep them coming. Aunt Pat

  2. OH MY!!! She's a brave girl!!! I never understood people who wanted to leap from a perfectly sound aircraft and plummet to (their death) the earth relying only on some nylon and string to save them!!! :) Go Vicki!!! That's awesome!