A chance to break a Connecticut skydiving record was not realized, but neither that nor some heavy rain Friday could dampen the enthusiasm of hundreds of thrillseekers who descended upon Ellington Airport this weekend.
Jumpers from all over the Northeast joined members of Connecticut Parachutists, Inc. in celebrating the third annual 50th Anniversary Boogie.
The group had hoped to attempt to set a new record for the largest formation skydive in the state of Connecticut: 50 skydivers, an homage to CPI’s 50 years of operation. The jump would have required synchronized exits from three planes flying in close proximity, according to CPI tandem instructor Mike Haas.
Only two planes were available, negating the chance to set the record, Haas said. Nonetheless, jumpers of all ages, genders and experience levels were on hand to leap out of an airplane at 13,500 feet, free-fall for about 45 seconds then pull the rip cord and gently land in an airport field some four to five minutes later.
This author rode alongside the pilot on a flight Saturday as a group of jumpers prepared themselves for, as one participant put it, "the thrill of a lifetime."