Sky high and loving it
Easy Does It
Amanda CremeansI parachute readyI stood in the open door of a Super ltter airplane twoand-a-half miles above the earth and stepped out. That’s my granddaughterI never once telling anyone about her secret ambition to skydive!
ln the groundI her parents Bob and iaura heard only the droning of the motorI her plane hidden DEoYH fluIIy wKLWH FOouds DJDLnsW D EOuH sNy.
A 25-year-old working Bucks County girlI APDndD KDd nHYHr flown Ln Dn DLrSODnH EHforeI much less jumping from one.
ln a hot day this monthI Amanda and meteI a skydiving instructor from Cross heys Airport in tilliamstownI N.g.I and strapped together tandem-style to mete’s chuteI stepped out into space 13I500 feet above meadows and rolling hills far below just across the bridge from mhiladelphia.
Suddenly their parachute openedI yanking Amanda and her partner straight up seemingly to where the plane had been moments before. Her ears popped and her breath caught in her throat.
“f’ve always wanted to skydiveI but work and money were always standing in the wayI” my granddaughter said. “Then f decided the WLPH KDd FoPH Wo HxSHrLHnFH EoWK, flyLnJ Dnd sNydLYLnJ DOO Ln onH Ddventure.”
But there was more to it than boarding a planeI taking offI standing in an open door far above the earth and stepping into space. Before even walking onto the runwayI there were papers to sign and waivers to grant to legally protect both the skydiver and the airport in the remote (she hoped) possibility something might go horribly wrong.
“, firsW KDd Wo DFNnowOHdJH Ln wrLWLnJ , might dieI” Amanda saidI “and other unpleasant things could happen if something went wrong with the parachute or the planeI the possibility of a crashI or f might faint or become dizzyI all kinds of real and imagined unknowns.”
ft all added up to playing a waiting game before being free to escape the bounds of earth with her skydiving guardian angel whose job was to guide the novice skydiver WKrouJK D suFFHssIuO, SOHDsDnW, Dnd sDIH Hxperience.
“BHLnJ fiWWHd wLWK D YHry KHDYy KDrnHss around the legs and over the shoulders might take as long as 15 minutesI” she said. “There DrH PDny oI WKHsH OLWWOH HxWrD duWLHs Wo SHrform even before boarding the plane.”
APDndD WoOd PH sKH wDs FonfidHnW Ln DOO WKH SrHFDuWLons dHPDndHd oI D firsW-WLPH skydiverI “but for meI it was an unsettling EuW Iun HxSHrLHnFH.”
FinallyI the time came to take that big step into space. The distant earth yawned back at her as if it were a toy village. “mete and f talked on the way downI and he asked me if f felt faint or dizzyI” Amanda remembered.
“He was taller than meI” she saidI “so f felt good about that. His legs were longer than mineI so f knew he would land before me.”
Amanda had to remember certain posiWLons on KHr firsW MuPS, suFK Ds NHHSLnJ KHr sWoPDFK flDW, noW Wo EH DODrPHd wKHn KHr breath suddenly was sucked out in the S0 seconds of freefall before their parachute opened. “ft made me feel as if f was going to suffocate.”
Then there were the landing instructions she had to remember: hnees bentI toes pointed upI and heels down as the ground rushed up to meet them.
Did she enjoy skydiving enough to jump again?
tithout hesitationI Amanda gave a thumbs-up and a big “Yes! f plan on going up and jumping a second timeI” she said.
“BHIorH WKLs HxSHrLHnFH, , KDd nHYHr HYHn flown EHIorH, EuW , wDsn’W nHrYous DEouW jumping. f prepared by watching skydiving videos.”
The only uncomfortable thingI she confessedI was her ears poppingI although “chewing gum helps when that happens.” Asked if she had any qualms about a second or even a third or fourth jumpI she gave a two-word answer: “thy not?”
7KH MuPS onOy WooN fiYH PLnuWHs. :KDW’s fiYH PLnuWHs ouW oI WKH Eusy OLIH oI D worNLnJ girl? And what goes up must come down.
that was her last word to her parents before she took off? “ByeI” she recalledI addLnJ WKDW nHrYous SDrHnWs wHrH Wo EH HxSHFWed. “They couldn’t talk me out of it.”
bven her grandfather? Come to think of itI nobody asked me.