Dan Horne has been skydiving for 20 years, and for his 40th birthday he wanted to do something that’s never been done before.
“It started because I wanted to do 40 jumps for my 40th birthday because I am 39,” said Bend skydiver Dan Horne.
The idea stemmed from trying to break the state record of more than 40 skydiving jumps in one day.
The record attempt began right after sunrise at the Madras Municipal Airport on Tuesday, with Horne hoping to get four to five jumps per hour.
“The first few I was definitely real excited, but then the pace slows down a bit, but they are all fun,” Horne said.
A small crowd, including skydiving adventure buddy, Gary Chavez, gathered at Skydive Awesome!, a skydiving company in Madras, to watch Horne try and break the record.
“He has a lot of really good people around him, everyone is checking out his gear,” said Chavez. “Everyone is checking in with him and making sure he has good energy, eating and drinking water and so it’s really that accumulation of effort that really makes it more risky than taking a couple skydive jumps on a Saturday afternoon.”
There’s always risk when jumping out of an airplane, but to help get to the record faster, Horne added another risk: jumping from just 2,500 feet instead of the usual 10,000.
Horne says he practiced the smaller jumps for weeks, to be prepared for the big day.
“I get out and I have to open right away cause I only have time to open the parachute and fix the problem real quick if there is one, which there hasn’t been one, find a landing pattern and land,” Horne said.
Even with a few rain showers, lowers cloud levels and wind delays, each landing brought him closer and closer to the record; until that last jump arrived, and who would join him in his last jump?
Previous state record holder, Rodney Holberton.
The long-standing current record of 40 jumps held by Holberton was performed at Beagle Sky Ranch in southern Oregon on March 16, 1986.
“Having Rodney there to watch me break his record and jump with me for it was amazing,” Horne added. “It was a really fun jump, best jump of the day.”
Horne landed his 41st jump to break the record and the crowd cheered loud.
“I am feeling great,” Horne said. “It is a really great day! I have spent the last several hours more in the sky than on the ground. It is exactly what I wanted.”
Horne says he really wanted to break the record so he could bring more attention to the sport of skydiving.