Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (July 23, 1998)
The Sky’s -
works on improving storyt
sport’s unsafe image Dai
Crammed into a five-person
Cessna plane, four sky divers and a
pilot slowly leave the runway and
ascend to 8000 feet — a common alti
tude for a parachute jump.
As the plane begins climbing, the
jumpers, each with 30- to 60-pound
parachute packs on their backs, begin
to get anxious.
They orally rehearse where each
person will stand and who will jump
first. The mission of this jump is a
solo free fall.
The pilot announces the plane
will be in the drop zone in one
minute. Last minute preparations are
made, and then the hatch door opens.
There is no turning back.
Out they go, falling at nearly 120
mph, or 160 feet per second.
“It’s equivalent to going down the
highway at 100 mph and then stand
J ing up in the back of a truck,” said
Lonnie Anderson of Lincoln, who has
made more than 370 jumps. “It’s real
ly loud. It’s just something you’ve
never experienced before.”
After 30 seconds of free fall, the
divers have fallen to 5,000 to 5,500
feet. This is when the parachutes open
and divers float safely to the ground.
Each weekend, 40 to 50 sky div
ing enthusiasts go through similar sit
uations at either the Weeping Water
or Crete Municipal Airports — the
respective drop zones for the Lincoln
Sport Parachute Club and Crete
Skydiving Center, Inc.
Improved safety, an adrenaline
rush and camaraderie were just some
of the reasons Lincoln residents gave
for wanting to free fall, tandem jump
or formation fly out of an airplane.
While sky diving appears to be a
sport for only crazy people, it’s actu
ally for people of all ages and walks
of life, said Tracy Janousek. the mas
ter rigger for the Lincoln Sport
Parachuting and sky diving are
Janousek’s life. The 34-year-old owns
and operates Lincoln Parachute and
Balloon Loft. His father, Marion
“Shorty” Janousek, was the founder
of the Lincoln Sport Parachute Club
Tracy seems to have followed in
his father’s jumping shoes.
But it wasn’t always that way.
When Janousek was younger,
even he thought his sky diving par
ents were nuts. But 1,146 jumps later,
Janousek no longer feels that way.
“I used to think they were crazy
until I left the plane for my first
jump,” Janousek said. “Now I under
stand. It’s a blast. It’s extremely excit
Powered by Open ONI