Thinking of a celebration for surviving eight decades on the planet, one might turn to images of a rest home and trying to cram that many candles on a cake. Not for Pat Moorehead, a California resident who set the world’s record for the most skydives by an 80-year-old Sunday, 80 skydives in one day.
The event was a promotional fund raising effort in support of constructing a National Skydiving Museum in Fredericksburg, Virginia, charged with recognizing and promoting the sport of skydiving through public education and awareness.
On Saturday, Moorehead, with over 6,100 jumps to his credit (his wife has 2,700 or so), made 14 practice jumps and explained how it would go on Sunday.
“Each jump should take no more than five minutes,” Moorehead told Patch.com, explaining that his team removes his parachute on landing then quickly outfit him with another pack before he jumps back in the plane that takes him to 2,200 feet for his next dive.
In spite of rainy, cloudy weather the octogenarian completed the 80 jumps in less than 7 hours. Aided by his wife and volunteers that included riggers, cameramen, a pilot, and a doctor on standby, the attempt went smoothly without missing a beat.
Appropriately, it all happened at Skydive Elsinore, the longest running skydiving operation in North America where Morehead made his first jump in 1969.
Will he be back for his 90th birthday? Maybe. The oldest skydiver on record, Frank Moody, age 101, made a tandem jump on June 6, 2004.
Photo/video: Sydney Owen