Formation skydivers new Australian record set at Toogoolawah
THE best skydivers in Australia called Toogoolawah home last week in a sustained assault on the Australian formation skydive record.
Queensland tandem skydiving master Issy Dore said the record was 33 people and a total of 49 skydivers were attempting to beat the record at Toogoolawah Drop Zone.
"They have to submit their plan in advance to the judges who will look at the videotape to decide if it is legitimate," Issy said.
"It's free flying and head down so it's difficult but this is a great drop zone to try it."
After warming up on Wednesday, the skydivers took several attempts at the record on Thursday but just missed out.
However after three days of jumping, organiser Leigh McCormack said they had a new unofficial Aussie vertical record.
"We managed a 37-way from 18000ft, some solid flying from some of the rookies was very impressive," he said.
While this was four more than the previous record of 33, the formation that they had set out to fly was a nominated 42 way attempt which was not complete, so it is not a new official record.
The skydivers involved were the best of the best from around Australia and they had to do a qualification jump six months ago.
The jumps were done from three planes and were choreographed by American skydiving champion Amy Chmelecki who was part of the world record formation dive of 138 skydivers.
Amy said each person involved needed to know their role and how to "dock" in formation.
"We start in the centre with people from the base plane then work our way out," she said.
"The touch has got to be done lightly, if they dock too hard, they'll knock everyone out."
The 49 skydivers included 10 women while there were also two cameramen taking GoPro shots of the action, twice a second, from the air.