Most skydivers in a vertical formation: 138 skydivers set world record (VIDEO) OTTAWA, IL, USA -- Jumping from six planes over Ottawa, Ill. — a town approximately 80 miles outside of Chicago, 138 skydivers formed a synchronized snowflake design in mid-plummet, while falling at speeds of up to 220 mph; they set the new world record for the Most skydivers in a vertical formation,
according to the World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/.
Photo: A group of 138 skydivers formed a synchronized snowflake design in mid-plummet, shattering the previous vertical formation record of 108 divers. Photo: AP (enlarge photo)
The Guinness world record for the largest women's free fall formation consisted of 151 skydivers and was formed at the Jump For The Cause charity event over Perris Valley, California, USA.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the Largest simultaneous BASE jump (outdoor), set by 30 skydivers from over seven different countries, who performed a BASE jump from the Ostankino television and radio tower in Moscow, Russia.
"I feel amazing," Rook Nelson, an organizer and the owner of Skydive Chicago where the record was broken, said shortly after he made the jump.
"There was a lot of emotion and a lot of days where we should have got it. But we dug down deep and stuck at it."
It took 15 attempts, over the course of three days, for them to finally succeed in their attempt.
Though the actual feat took about two minutes, months of planning, tryouts and training went into the event.
Nelson explained that vertical flying is "basically doing a headstand" in the air. The lack of wind resistance speeds the skydivers' fall rate to an average of 170 to 180 mph.
Ahead of the record attempt, he said some of those involved would need to reach much higher speeds. And that increased the risks.
If they're not paying attention when diving into the formation at upwards of 220 mph, "it's going to be like someone running a red light and you taking them out," Nelson said.
Each skydiver knew exactly when to exit the aircraft, whom to follow and where in the formation they should be.
At 7,000 feet, the skydivers began to peel away on a last-in, first-out basis, and each wave deployed their parachutes at altitudes specified according to their positions in the formation.
"We don't want everyone to open their parachutes at the same altitude because then everybody lands at the same time. We stack the sky vertically" to avoid collisions, Nelson said.
The skydiver team was also quite diverse, with 13 women selected for the world record breaking stunt and other team members hailing from France, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Russia, Italy, Belgium, Australia, and Great Britain to take part.