Skydiving World Records. A quarterly check is made to update this information and it was last checked in Jan 2005.
Longest Freefall Delay
The longest delayed skydive was made by Capt. Joseph W. Kittinger, who dropped 25,820 m (84,700 ft) from a balloon at Tularosa, New Mexico, USA, on August 16, 1960. He fell for 4 min 37 sec before his parachute was deployed automatically. During his dive he attained speeds of 614mph ( 1,000 kmph ) . Kittinger reported that he could not sense his speed, his suit was thick and he had not point of reference that he could relate to. On training jumps when his space suit was still being developed , part of it ruptured and his hand was exposed to temperatures as low as -70 celcius, it was only a crude but effective automatic opening device the opened his main parachute ( round ) for him. Kittinger retired after distinguising himself further with long distance balloon flights.
A French man, Michael Furnier has been planning to break the record for the last years, but as of yet no attempt has been made.
The largest Freefall formation that can be verified ( by video evidence ) was set over the skys of Thailand on the 6th of February 2004. The " World Team " responsible for building the formation comprised of hand picked jumpers from over 40 countries .
The Thia royal family financially assisted the feat by providing five Hercules Troop carrying airplanes that flew in tight formation to drop the 357 jumpers plus cameramen from an altitude of 20,000ft.
One the seventh and last jump the formation was built and " flew " with each jumper holding another for six seconds. This is no mean feat, as in order to be a record , each jumper has to fly to a specific place or " slot " in the formation. If even one man is out of place, the record is void. You can get more information here on the world team website. This site also details previous records.
On this page there is an interview with one of our instructors who participated in the record.
Most Parachute Descents – Male
On July 13, 2003 Don Kellner from the USA performed his 34,000th freefall skydive . He made his first jump on June 14, 1961. This tally , at that time was sufficent for him to be credited by the Guinness World Records committee with the title. It is expected that the record will be updated in 2005 as his friends now claims to have 35,000 jumps .
He has trained 10,000 AFF and tandem students alone! Now thats a lot of jumping! He also got married in freefall to his wife...shortish ceremony..
Most parachute descents – female
Cheryl Stearns (USA) holds the record for the most parachute jumps by a woman, with a total of 15,560 in August 2003. Cheryl is also working on the Strato Quest project which is a life saving parachute system for Shuttle crews. She holds other world records such as the most jumps in a single day made by a female .
She has also been world champion in several disciplines including accurancy and style. She is dubbed the most successfull woman skydiver ever. She also is currently working in beating Joe Kittingers altitude record.
Oldest Person To Perform A Solo Skydive
The oldest solo skydiver recorded is 92. To qualify as a record he had to not have assistance on his jump. He did a static line solo jump. This was in June 19, 1998, aged 92. He could not do a tandem as the oldest tandem passenger was a lady of 99 years of age. Herb Tanner decided that he wanted to get into the Guinness book of Records and discovered that this type of jump would give him a place .