Yesterday, for what seems to have been the seventh time in history, a man leapt out of an airplane without a parachute (of his own volition, one must add) met another skydiver sometime in freefall, attached the chute that was handed him, opened it and made it to the ground without injury. That man, (shown here making some humdrum jump with a parachute) is Andreas Dachtler. "It felt just like a normal jump and that was what I had expected," wrote Dachtler in an email. "The extreme mental tension during the ascent had been blown away by the wind."
Bill Cole, the second man in history to make a chuteless jump (he's responsible for two of the seven mentioned above—in 1968 and in 1972) once said a similar thing: "When I left the aircraft I just acted like there was a chute on my back, so I didn't worry about it." In fact, Dachtler's jump, which had been in the works for years, was initially supposed to include Cole as the man who would hand over the life-saving chute. Unfortunately Cole remains injured from a nasty landing he had a few years ago, and the passing of the guard had to be a figurative one.
The first to perform the stunt was Rod Pack, 41 years ago. Unlike the chutelss jumps made by Dachtler and Cole, Pack jumped out of one plane while the man with the extra chute, Bob Allen, jumped out of another 1,500 feet away.
That jump caused something of a stink in the Skydiving community as many thought such antics would make jumpers look like a bunch of crazies to the outside world. By now, such stunts are a normal part of our X-Game informed world. Or am I wrong? More details about Dachtler's jump to follow.
Remember, you heard it here first, at the Icarus Report.