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.