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`Jumpers Over Seventy` soar through the air. (Photo by Grant Spurrel (Maryland)/courtesy of John Benoit)
"Jumpers Over Seventy" soar through the air. (Photo by Grant Spurrel (Maryland)/courtesy of John Benoit)

Skydiving enthusiasts set record


Mon, Nov 1st 2021 10:50 am

Submitted by John Benoit

Some people refuse to grow up despite growing old. A group of just such people, all septuagenarians, gathered recently at Skydive The Falls in Youngstown.

Members of an organization known as “Jumpers Over Seventy” are all active skydivers, each with thousands of skydives experience. Their goal was to establish a New York state freefall formation record for the national organization.

Continuously bad weather, low clouds and heavy winds, kept them grounded for two days. Finally, on Aug. 12, just before noon, the skies briefly cleared and six members were able to get off the ground.

With the stunning view of Niagara Falls and Lake Ontario below, they exited the plane at 13,000 feet, quickly linking together in freefall. Weather permitted only one jump, but the record was achieved.

The participants were Dave Benjamin (Kinnelon, New Jersey), John Benoit, (Lockport), James Crandall (Castile), Dan O'Connell (Ontario), Bill Schafer (Fairport) and Bob Hallifax (North Carolina).

The drop zone is operated by Jason Berger (Lewiston) and Tom Neilson (Rochester). They welcome anyone who wants to experience the thrill of freefall to come out and join in the fun.

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