Thursday, October 7, 2010

The man who falls to earth by Bruce Grierson

Rating: ****
Have you ever wanted to try jumping out of a plane at staggering heights? This is something Pascal Coudé, a 40 year old skydiver from Quebec, does regularly. Once a skydiver makes the jump out of a plane, they would normally get about 60 seconds of free fall before deploying their parachute. Coudé, however, got to take in 4 minutes and 9 seconds before deploying his chute! If this doesn't seem right to you, you're correct. Coudé had some help from a giant wingsuit. Although he is very good at skydiving, he was originally known for his base jumping, which means jumping off of stationary things as opposed to moving ones. For example, jumping off of bridges, cliffs and radio towers. He also loves the rush of jumping from low heights, sometimes as low as 125 feet. Coudé sometimes needs to complete these tasks at night to avoid getting arrested for jumping off various things. For Coudé, the next step is to have a wingsuit that will allow him to land as well, but that will probably not happen for a while now.

I found this article very interesting as I'd never even heard of a wingsuit before. I knew people jumped out of airplanes and used parachutes, but not that they could float in the air for that amount of time. I don't think I could ever do any of those crazy stunts myself, but I admire Pascal Coudé for being able to accomplish so many of them. Although I've always wanted to know what it felt like to fly, I would never willingly jump out of a plane to plummet to the ground.I thought that this article was very well written and it kept me wanting to read to the very end.

Explore ; Canada's Outdoor Magazine (September/October 2010)

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