Vertical Freefly Skydive World Record 2012
It was this year’s Summerfest 2012 @ Skydive Chicago where skydivers from around the globe flocked in to break the previous 108-Way Vertical Freefly World Record made in 2009. On August 1st, 2012 the atmosphere at Skydive Chicago was electric as the quest to break the Vertical Freefly Skydive World Record began!
They started their pursuit by thinking of a formation for all 142 skydivers. The organisers of this event with a group of expertise took a whole new approach. The lead plane which was a Sherpa had to put out a super floater. As soon as the floater exited, the back 3 planes had to reach out too. When the last jumpers were to exit from last 3 planes, the first 3 planes had to start to exit. It was done so as to keep the jumpers from the last 3 planes Float Up and that of the first 3 planes Dive Down to complete the formation precisely. Day 1 saw the jumpers learn a lot about floating and blowing past a formation. On Day 2 there were bit of clouds in the sky but they were high above to disrupt any jump. On the 5th jump of the day, all 142 jumpers did make a beauteous formation. Everyone landed down and the photographs of the formation were analysed. Then the photographs were sent to the judges. After a long discussion between the judges and organisers it was declared that the attempt was no 142-Way.
It surely was a huge disappointment for all skydivers. When a group of skydivers are attempting an official World Record Skydive, the organisers of the event need to assert the exact formation that skydivers will be intending to build. They have to draw it on a paper and submit it to the judges before attempting the World Record. In a hurry, the formation that was submitted before this attempt had 2 stingers with incorrect grip. It was indeed a 142-Way formation but only according to the Guinness Book of World Records not according to FIA official World Record. On Day 3, the paperwork was done in order and several jumps were attempted. Every diver wanted to re-live that moment of 142-Way formation but somehow it was not happening. When the day was about to end in a no show, the organisers did what they were not willing to do from long. They did cut out a pod from the formation which brought the total number of skydivers now to 138. This was the last attempt of the day; 138 skydivers were lifted to 18,500 feet with a break off at 7000 feet. Every person around in that dive did what they had to do and with no doubts in the minds of judges this time; the perfect formation of 138 skydivers was maintained for about 4 seconds which made the Official Vertical World Record 138-Way.
The video above summarizes the events of the Summerfest 2012 @ Skydive Chicago with an equally appreciable background score. You can check out official website of Summerfest 2012 and can also follow their Facebook page for future events. You can also view a 360 degree video of the World Record attempt.