As of July 2017 Kenny Meyer of Sussex, New Jersey has become the oldest living skydiver.
The 102-year-old resident of a small town woke up to a full English breakfast at 6 a.m. and got ready for his first skydiving excursion. Before leaving with his wife, this senior with a zest for life took his usual pills at around 7:50 am and headed off to jump out of an air plane.
After paying $285, Meyer was prepped for his leap under the tutelage of an expert instructor and the watchful eyes of his wife. On that day Kenny would be sure to set a Guinness World Record, as the diving company, Skydive Sussex, had scrutinized his application to ensure he was qualified to beat the record.
At one point Meyer’s chances of making his jump were cast into doubt thanks to the presence of sporadic rain and a low cloud ceiling. But thankfully, for Kenny and his 25 family members and friends in attendance, the weather conditions improved. Later, while sitting in the skydiving center, Meyer exclaimed to his wife that he was ready for his jump. He told reporters, before taking off, that he felt overwhelmed by the ceremony of it all but the support of his family was enough motivation for him to make the jump.
Meyer had been fascinated with skydiving for years, subtly hinting at his desire to jump to his family, day after day. Meyer made a firm decision to go sky diving when he read about Bryson William Verdun Hayes from England, who broke the record for the world’s oldest skydiver. Wearing his blue jumping jacket over a yellow polo shirt and a persistent smile Meyer joked with reporters that he was “doing this for the USA,” before taking the leap.
After the jump, Meyer joked that he might try skydiving again when he turned 105. On the ground, Meyer was met by the embraces of his many relatives, the applause of onlookers and a banner with his name emblazoned in massive letters.