Here at NewsFeed, we imagine it would take a heavy dose of gumption to jump out of a plane and fall through the sky at speeds of up to 220 mph. Now factor in the coordination and patience it would require to do that while also arranging oneself into a perfect formation with 137 other people.
A group of 138 skydivers formed a synchronized snowflake design in mid-plummet, shattering the previous vertical formation record of 108 divers, the Associated Press reports. They jumped from six planes over Ottawa, Ill., about 80 miles southwest of Chicago. 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. Once the official process began, organizers filmed each attempt, determining the group’s weakest links and swapping in “benched” hopefuls. Only 13 women were selected for the dangerous feat — akin to doing a handstand at 7,000 feet, as Rook Nelson, an organizer and the owner of Skydive Chicago, put it. Three judges from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale confirmed the new record Friday evening.
The group members traveled from all over the world to take the plunge, representing France, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Russia, Italy, Belgium, Australia and the U.K.