By Zach O’Brien
I’ll never forget it. It was on my 16th birthday that my dad took me to experience what he considered a rite of passage into manhood – skydiving. We drove up to the small facility and were taught the basics of a tandem skydive – basically you hold on for dear life while you’re attached to a dude who has done it over 2,500 times.
When it was time to go out to the plane, I got a weird feeling. The plane was old, tattered and literally covered in duct tape. By the way, I will sit and argue the unending value of duct tape with anyone, but I prefer to keep it away from the aircraft I intend to fly in.
Everything went great and I can forever tell people that, indeed, I have been skydiving. When people ask me if I was scared to jump, I always say “I was just glad to get out of the plane covered in duct tape.”
So when the story came out last year that a skydiving plane had crashed in Lodi, CA, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. There were 17 skydivers and one pilot on that flight, and only pilot received minor injuries. Here is the story:
Videos have surfaced from the GoPro’s on the heads of the skydivers of the crash, showing exactly what it was like to be in the small Cessna 208 that day. Here are two different vantage points from two GoPros (Warning: some graphic language):
That was crazy. I have been in the situation where your stuffed into a tiny airplane with your parachute as the only way out. I can only imagine how scary it was to crash land that plane and be in there as it flips over.
The best part of the story? Half of the passengers went back up in the air within 15 to 20 minutes of the incident. Now that takes some guts.
Northern California’s Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine