Photo: Bowlin, above, and Gould as they
make their 103rd jump in less than 24 hours. / Photo by BILLY
Cols. Chip Bowlin and Kristin Gould
of MacDill Air Force Base achieved the feat to help
raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
"It has supported the Special Operations community for
the last 20 years," she said. "It's a security blanket that
makes our job so much easier it is such a comfort knowing
they're there." Click
here for donation information. All contributions go
directly to the SOF Warrior Foundation and are tax-deductible
Their fasted cycle was 5 1/2 minutes from
take-off to landing, they said. That's from the plane taking
off, to the freefall and landing, to the plane taking off
"First of all everyone knows we're crazy," Gould
said. "We have talked for a long time about our love of parachuting."
"First I thought it was pretty insane. I still
think it's pretty insane," said Gould's daughter, Ashley Marquardt,
20. "But they're doing some awesome jumps and I'm really proud."
An army of support crew and spectators worked
hard on the ground, switching out pilots, packing parachutes,
photographing the drops and inspecting equipment during every
Both jumpers are highly trained -- Gould
has completed 200 dives and Bowlin about 1,500. Yet a number
of factors raised the bar on this unique stunt: the low visibility
at night, intermittent cloud cover, and the fatigue that comes
with falling 5,000 feet over and over and over.
Gould and Bowlin's 103rd and final jump
was from more than 12,000 feet up, flanked by 14 other parachutists.
Jumpers and crew exchanged hugs and high-fives.
There actually wasn't a tandem skydiving record
before this. Gould and Bowlin said they are proud to be the