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500th jump – out of a Hot Air Ballon

So my friend Bill Whelan helped me with the building of my Hot Air Balloon.  He was well aware of the fact that I was a skydiver.

So it came to be that one day, a few years ago, I had 499 jumps. I decided, hey, I should jump out of a Balloon!  With a perfect weather window, I asked Bill if he was willing. He was!

When I talk about my Hot Air Balloon to my Skydiving friends, they always ask me very enthusiastically!:

“Have you ever jumped out?”

To which I always reply: “No, I need to fly it back down!”

You see the big “ride operator” (Hot Air Balloons) in Canada stopped taking Skydivers up for jumps many years ago, and jumping out of a Balloon in Canada has become somewhat of a rare novelty.

The other question I always get is: ” Do you wear a parachute when you fly your balloon?”

The answer to that one is “No, I have 550 yards of parachute fabric over my head! It’s just made to look like a balloon!”

Being a hot air balloon pilot myself, I know a few other hot air balloon pilots, I decided to organize this one-time thing for my 500th jump.

At the last second, I called up all the skydivers I knew, to invite them to jump out of a balloon.  Only a few lucky ones answered the phone, and they’ll forever be immortalized in this video.

Ever since then, the one’s who didn’t jump always ask me to organise this again. And I will… soon… Just make sure you answer your phones! ha!

So here’s the video of that day, jumping out of a perfectly good Hot Air Balloon.