Contact Us

Somebody Had To Do It First – The First Parachute Jump

(Gettiy Images)

We were talking last week about the Austrian who jumped from a balloon 24 miles above the earth and set a speed record for skydiving before his parachute brought him safely to the ground. Like anything, someone had to be the first person to do something and with parachuting the first verified parachute jump was more by a Frenchman more than 200 years ago.

André-Jacques Garnerin thought air resistance could slow a person’s fall from a high altitude, so he designed a fabric parachute, 23-feet in diameter and attached it to a hydrogen balloon. Instead of in a backpack, this parachute was already deployed, strung to the top of the balloon with ropes. He tested it in front of a large crowd of people in Paris, rising to more than 3,000 feet, tied himself to the ropes, then jumped.

It didn’t go as smooth as he thought. He didn’t think about putting an air vent at the top of the parachute, so it spun in wild circles as he dropped to the ground. It was a rough ride down, and he landed about a half mile from where he intended, but he survived. It happened on this date in 1797.

Two years later his wife became the first female parachutist.

Later he made a jump from a mile and a half up.

His luck ran out in 1823. He was getting set to test a new parachute design when the balloon crashed and he was killed.


Best of WYRK

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Country Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive Country Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.