That is the question, but sometimes, Beaver Islanders discovered
on June 26th, 27th, and 28th, you just don't have a choiceespecially
when there's a guy strapped to your back standing behind you in
the jump bay of a small, single-engined plane, and he's coming
out the hatch no matter what you do or say.
Thanks to Ed Wojan, Luther Kurtz and his team (fellow skydiver
Joy Bose from India, coordinator Julie Strickland, and pilot Patrick
Murphy) were on hand at the Township Airport to take pairs of
daring Beaver Islanders up to 11,000 feeta 25-minute climb
that led to a 4-minute breath-taking descent, beginning with a
4,000' freefall that reached terminal velocity (120 mph) before
the experienced Air Guide pulled the cord.
A jump cost $200, and everyone felt it was well worth it, especially
on such a clear, sunny day. The Bridge was visible in one direction,
the Foxes and Manitous in another. Each landing came down on the
Airport turf after gracefully-steered glides that swooped the
coupled team back and forth over the system of runways. There
were family expeditions: fathers and sons, and fathers and daughters.
Wives went with their husbands-or, in some cases, left them gawking
and grumbling on the ground.
The many spectators came away from the event with a crick in
their neck and the summer's first tan. After each trip the chutes
were diligently repacked, and the next team was given some instruction
and told to climb aboard. Several first-timers thought their only
hesitation would come when they were asked to step out of the
plane, but with all the noise and wind, the anticipated paralysis
failed to materialize. A few people were hurt (a cracked sternum,
some unclench-able fists, and a few twisted ankles); but those
plentiful screams were pretty much of pure joy. Everyone asked
the team, When are you coming again?
See also the Skydive
Harbor Springs web site
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