Day 4 of Mission 100

The plan yesterday was to complete three 50 way dives (3 helixes off the base) before starting with 100 way attempts. However, the weather hasn’t been on our side and we are somewhat behind the power curve in getting through our practise jumps prior to attempting a record building formation. At 7:15am, 90+ skydivers were on the field in full gear with our oxygen hoses, ready to dirt dive our planned jump and then depart with the hopes of building at least a 50 way before our 100 way dives. Dirt dive we did, jump we did not. A solid layer of clouds were visible from horizon to horizon with a few breaks of sunshine left to test us with hopeful glimmers. The reality of our situation is that the Sherpa needs a longer runway to depart from than what is currently available at Parachute Montreal. This means that 2 plane loads of jumpers need to be ferried to an alternative airport 5 minutes away by plane before the actual formation load can take off and climb to altitude. With narrow windows of visible skies, this makes planning for a jump in sketchy marginal weather rather risky and tricky. If the planes do get to altitude in formation and there isn’t a safe opportunity to drop us in our groups (2 passes on this next jump but one big group of 100 for the remaining jumps), we have to abort the skydive and land with the plane. Imagine the cost of doing this with 100 skydivers and 3 very expensive-to-fly airplanes? The cost of a jump to 13,500 feet is $35 and to 18,000 feet with supplemental oxygen is $45. Thats a whole lotta money to be literally thrown out the window on an aborted skydive. Hence, here we sit on the ground, anxious to jump but remaining patient with the hope of better weather as the day progresses. Now is as good a time as any to catch up on the blog + my multitude of photo editing; stretch and breath; play yoga instructor; catch up on a fews ZZZZZZZZssssssssss. :) I’m still hopeful for success. With one final break in the clouds, we loaded up the 4 planes to attempt 2 44 ways. We made it all the way to altitude, with several passes around the dz from 16,000 feet, but we ended up landing with the plane as the clouds were too thick for the safety of our group, at break-off and under canopy. Not to mention, the spot could be way off. Been there, done that :).