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Skydriving 331

Posted by michael
from the it's-the-sudden-stop-at-the-end dept.
SanLouBlues writes "Autoweek has this article about a group of guys in Arizona who will drop your car out of a cargo jet for $15k. Parachutes for the car are optional. Their ultimate goal is to drop a Greyhound with forty people inside. More pictures here and here)"
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Skydriving

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  • I'M going to pay THEM $15k to achieve THEIR goal?
  • I swear I will return it in good condition :)
  • by CBNobi (141146) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @10:45PM (#4286192)
    "There's no real science to it--it's hit or miss," says skydiver/skydriver Greg Gasson

    I don't want to know what would happen if they hit, let alone if they miss. Hit what? Where?

    (Although, I think this would make a neat little Junkyard Wars-esque competition.. or not)
  • drop your car out of a cargo jet

    Here I was all excited about getting dropped out of a jet and I see the plane has props.

  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Phexro (9814) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @10:47PM (#4286208)
    If you have an 802.11b-equipped laptop in the car on your way down, are you then warskydriving?
  • Parachutes for the car are optional. Their ultimate goal is to drop a Greyhound with forty people inside.

    Think that would be enough to fit all the RIAA executives inside of? i'm not sure..

    Seriously though why spend $15k to drop a car out of a plane when you can do the next best thing, throw wireless webcams off of tall buildings! It's fun for everyone!
    • Seriously though why spend $15k to drop a car out of a plane when you can do the next best thing, throw wireless webcams off of tall buildings!


      That does sound like fun.... got any links to videos produced that way?


      I think you would want some sort of tail assembly (to stabilize the camera on its way down) and of course the camera would need to be battery-powered... but in the end you would have a nice 3D zoom video along with your small camera shards...

      • by CvD (94050)
        Check out the movie G [skydance.net] they made where they dropped a camera from 30,000 ft. You can probably find the movie itself at: ftp://ftp.skydivingmovies.com

        Cheers,

        Costyn. (220 jumps)
  • "Their ultimate goal is to drop a Greyhound with forty people inside."

    If I hadn't read it on Slashdot, I never would have thought it possible to so willingly invite litigation upon oneself.

  • And donate [donateacar.com] your car instead...please...

    • Noone would want my car. ('89 Dodge Colt with 218,000 miles.) If this car gets me through 2 more years of college and these guys are still around, I think it would be a great way to pay my last respects to my baby.
      • You know, that's what I was thinking. I have a car that I have dealt with for so long, and it has finally died. I replaced the head gasket a year ago, and now the repairs I have neglected to do (front axle, water pump, clutch, suspension, CV joints, and wheel bearings) cost much more than the value of the car.

        I think I would be doing everyone a favor by dropping it out of the sky and letting it fall to it's death. Good bye, 1983 Mazda 626 - it's time to be gzipped.
      • What's the max acceleration one of these would reach? You could tell everyone that your old '89 dodge went 5 times faster than their max speed... just don't mention that it was downward acceleration due to gravity. :-)

        Oh, you think THAT'S fast, well the fastest I ever got my old Dodge Colt was 1000mph (insert exact number to the left of mph).

        You'd need somebody really honest to vouch for you. Maybe could you cheat the world records for fastest automobile speed, but that's probably detailed as land-speed

        NOW we know how they got the VW on top of the schoolhouse - phorm
  • For some reason, I see this as a chance for Hollywood to make a Speed 3 ... ::imagines Sandra Bullock fighting terrorists in a parachute at 30,000 feet::
  • I'm sure that any of the big 3 auto manufacturers would jump (excuse the pun) at the chance to put a paratrooping SUV into their adds. $15K/jump would be a pitttance to them. You might even have to raise your price just to get their attention.
  • by ElJefe (41718) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @10:56PM (#4286267)
    "I bet a funny thing about driving a car off a cliff is, while you're in midair, you still hit those brakes! Hey, better try the emergency brake!"
    -Jack Handy
  • by thelenm (213782) <mthelen@NOSPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @10:57PM (#4286270) Homepage Journal
    From the story: The hoods are duct-taped shut, since metal tearing off at terminal velocity could endanger the "drivers."

    Boy, I wish I had a nickel for every time duct tape prevented someone's violent death at terminal velocity.
    • I mean duct tape is cool and all that but I think I would opt for welding that hood shut - and the doors, trunk, etc.
    • Your post if funny and I am sure you also know it is true as well. The military has used duct tape for a long time to repair damage while in flight or on the ground from debris or bullets.
      • The military has used duct tape for a long time to repair damage while in flight or on the ground from debris or bullets.


        Interesting side note: The german military nicks their official duct tape "Panzertape" - literally that's "tank tape". Weird stuff though. Won't stick to anything except for itself. Guess it's perfect for selaing that punctured tube. I used some of it when I had a needle-sized hole in my car's engine cooling system (in the hose). I kept losing water at a slow rate before doing it, and had to refill every other day. After I sealed it I literally forgot about it until it appeared on the inspection invoice.
        • I repaired a half-inch split in my car's radiator hose with gaffa tape (as it's called in the UK - actually, proper gaffa tape is slightly different from duct tape). It lasted for a couple of months, until I could be bothered to get into the totally inaccessible hose to replace it (bottom radiator hose on a 1978 Volvo 265, no space to work on it).
    • > Boy, I wish I had a nickel for every time duct tape prevented someone's violent death at terminal velocity.

      Yeah...Duct Tape... It's like The Force; it's got a dark side, a light side, and it holds the universe together.

      -yb
  • by Damion (13279)
    Look! My car can go from 0 to 60 in 2.75 seconds!

    --
    http://ragnar.nilmop.com [nilmop.com]
  • Take a look at this picture [skydivingstunts.com]. Is it just me or is the thought of doing that even more scary than regular skydiving? Irrational, I know, but there's just something about the idea of falling while inside a car, which is normally a safe environment, that adds an extra psychological edge to it all.
  • by Cyno01 (573917)
    Why whould i pay $15k to destroy my car? A big sledgehammer is a lot cheaper and a lot more fun.
  • Piano Tossing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stigmata669 (517894) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @11:06PM (#4286302)
    Lets not forget the piano tossing trebuchets [geocities.com] , inspiring crazy guys to throw big stuff since the middle ages.
  • Oh my God... [skydivingstunts.com]

    Okay so he's holding on to it but that's gotta get some respect.

    Has the seen-it-in-the-movies jump ever been done, where someone jumps without a parachute and someone else catches up with them? I wonder which is worse, being the guy without the chute or the guy who has to catch him?
    • Re:Chuteless jump (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AndyMan! (31066)
      Just to clarify the "chuteless" jump, the stuntman who did its name is Greg Gasson. You can see the full video of it on the DVD called "Good Stuff", which you can buy from www.joejennings.com [joejennings.com]

      During Freefall Greg was attached to the rig via an invisible harness and cable system.

      However, upon deploying the parachute he disconnects the harness and alternates between hanging from his hands to his feet, then eventually climbing up and puts on the rig for landing. It's very cool, but if you think about it, no more dificult then much of the trapeze work done in circuses.

      (yes, I'm a skydiver, with over 400 jumps to my name. I've always worn my parachute.)

      _Am
  • by mandolin (7248) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @11:09PM (#4286315)
    .. while they were looking at the second set of pics [skydivingstunts.com], that..

    maybe it's not such a hot idea to chase a cargo plane from below and behind, while a car is falling out of its ass?

    "Look bubba, *click* that car *click* just keeps getting bigger and bigSMASH

  • by Bimkins (242641) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @11:09PM (#4286316)
    "Their ultimate goal is to drop a Greyhound with forty people inside."

    This has the potential to be the first 40-way Darwin Award...
  • This doesn't seem like the best of ideas. I mean dropping something so heavy from such a height isn't exactly rocket science. I realize it's out in the desert, but that doesn't neccessarily mean that someone won't be sitting there on the ground watching a car crash into them.

    Anyone else think that dropping a bus with 40 people is just asking for trouble?? Unless they're looking to rip the roof off of it, there's to many what if's to make this even remotely safe. Might just as well make parachutes for the people optional as well.

    Is this like the semi-finals season for the darwin awards and I just wasn't looking?

    • Yeh.. I don't see how they are going to do a bus.. I seen them drop the car out on TLC or something.. they cut the roof off, but what they didn't count on was the fact that the car wasn't anywhere close to being evenly weighted so it spun around on the way down making it really hard for the people to jump out with out being tangled in the chute.
  • by deathcow (455995) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @11:10PM (#4286325)
    ...to wake up a drunk friend.
  • To anyone that thinks dropping cars out of an airplane, much less dropping a greyhound bus, is a good idea, or fun, or remotely above cro-magnon thought:

    line for the bus forms to the right, first 40 get in...

    psxndc

  • by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @11:13PM (#4286341) Homepage Journal
    I don't think this is what they ment when they said we'd have flying cars in the future.

    Jaysyn
  • if at first you don't suceed ... skyd(i)ving is not for you.

  • Their ultimate goal is to drop a Greyhound with forty people inside.

    Something about that just sounds so illegal.
  • by cribcage (205308) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @11:18PM (#4286364) Homepage Journal
    But fast ROLLER COASTERS are the great, perilous danger from which we must protect the masses.

    Riiiight.

    Sometimes the funniest part of being American is comparing the things we can't do with the things that are perfectly legal.

    crib
    • But fast ROLLER COASTERS are the great, perilous danger from which we must protect the masses.

      Riiiight.


      Aw, c'mon, you must be able to see the flaws in that argument.

      First, skydrivers are well aware that they're doing something dangerous. If roller coasters are dangerous to normal folks, people sure don't know about it. There's no point in protecting people from risks they knowingly take, but there is a good reason to protect them from risks which they aren't aware of.

      Second, how many people skydrive? Maybe a few dozen ever. Compare that to the number of people who go on roller coasters. It makes a lot more sense to regulate an activity which millions of people participate in every year than one which only a few participate in. I bet bungee jumping wasn't regulated at first, but there are regulations now (such as this one [state.sc.us] from South Carolina).
      • It makes a lot more sense to regulate an activity which millions of people participate in every year than one which only a few participate in.

        Only one or two people per century actually go out and shoot a president. Maybe that shouldn't be regulated then. At least not until we have dozens a year taking potshots at the Bush.

        Hey, maybe this isn't such a bad idea after all...

  • They'll give me $15,000 to drop my uninspected '86 Plymoth from an airplane? Uh... ok, it's a deal!
  • Decadence (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Egoine (22800)
    From the shots page #2:

    "[...] It is without a doubt, American decadence at its finest. [...]"

    I can't stop trying to put things in perspectives theses days and realize how much the world is unfair. Some people will never get to use a car, and some are ditching one while skydiving. (I guess it doesn't work anymore, but still)

    I am not saying it is not right to do so. It looks *really* cool!

    But. Can't help and think about other human beings not even having access to drinkable water...

    Some day we will have to face the fact that a more fair repartition is indeed needed. Are we happier today than 100 years ago because we can skydive in cars?

    Go ahead, mod me down as redundant, libertarian bastard, suckers who speaks but does nothing, etc... I really just want to know if other feel the same way.

  • Do we get to pick them?

    Bill Gates
    Hillery Rosen
    Jack Valenti
    Michael Eisner
    Senator Hollings
    Lance Bass
    Britney Spears
    N'sync ...

    More suggestion, for this no parachute drop, please?
  • If they think they can safely parachute land a bus full of people, why can't they put safety parachutes on airliners? I understand airliners are much bigger, but the technology must be there. Isn't the cost worth it?
    • Technically, you don't need a parachute for the bus, just the people inside..

      Also, they have parachutes [airplaneparachutes.com] for small planes such as cesdna's, but I don't think its feasible to put parachutes on larger planes.
    • They actually manufacture chutes for small single engine aircraft, where this could actually help. They fly relatively slowly and go down a lot more often than airliners.

      But for airliners, even if it would be possible, it probably wouldn't help anything. Think about all the recent plane crashes you have read about or seen on TV. How many of them were due to simple things like engine failure, etc? If the jets are still running, a chute isn't gonna do much. Besides imagine going from cruising speed+ and tossing out a chute. The decelleration would probably kill most people in the plane.

      Also if you look, the people aren't landing in the car or bus, they are jumping out in the vehicle with the top cut off, riding in it for a while and then bailing. And I wouldn't consider what they are doing as safe.
  • Hrm.... could donate a Xerox document station, or how about an old Tandy main frame computer. No parachute needed! Just toss em out, and I'll wash my hands of it all. Just don't tell my boss! ;)

    Seriously though, if they can toss out a bus, they can toss anything. Why not a toss a bunch of /. trolls with no parachute... mabe throw a few parachues out seperate, but not as may as the trolls, and see how gets to the chutes and lives.

    Oh wait, it probably not cool to throw people out of a plane, they probably have to sign papers, and tossing people out of a plane is probably consider to be not kool in some states, even if they are trolls. darn... silly technicalities. oh well.
  • Their ultimate goal is to drop a Greyhound with forty people inside.

    "There's no real science to it--it's hit or miss," says skydiver/skydriver Greg Gasson.

    I can see the headlines now:

    Bus Accident Kills 40 in Arizona

    It looks like a lot of fun. :)

    • "There's no real science to it--it's hit or miss," says skydiver/skydriver Greg Gasson.

      Hmmmm ... I'm not a physics major ... but wouldn't it be more like "hit or hit"???

      Or will the bus get distracted from its intent on hitting the ground and accidently miss ... therefore start flying?

  • how about I make my bad dreams come true, drive off a bridge completely stoned and drunk, fall for fucking ever into the darkness, and end up waking up in a bed w/my girlfriend ;)
  • ..to have MY car dropped out of the sky, but I'm pretty sure I'd pay a buck or two to see what it looks like when somebody ELSE's car is dropped!
  • Wait until the terrorists hear about this one!

    Gee Whiz!
    Thanks Slashdot!
  • The hoods are duct-taped shut, since metal tearing off at terminal velocity could endanger the "drivers." ...is there anything it can't do?
  • QOTD (Score:3, Funny)

    by Devil's BSD (562630) on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @11:44PM (#4286476) Homepage
    If at first you do not succeed, then skydriving is not for you.
  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdotNO@SPAMhackish.org> on Wednesday September 18, 2002 @11:46PM (#4286484)
    Why back when I was a kid people were sneaky about their homicidal intent. Nowadays they just say "my goal in life is to cram 40 people into a bus, drop it from an airplane, and watch it smash to bits." Hmph.
    • Why back when I was a kid people were sneaky about their homicidal intent. Nowadays they just say "my goal in life is to cram 40 people into a bus, drop it from an airplane, and watch it smash to bits." Hmph.

      The real tragedy is that the participants don't have any incentive to write maintainable code.
  • it's not a jet. (Score:2, Interesting)

    it's not a jet. the airplane pictured in the article is a turboprop--i'm no expert at these, but i'm guessing of the pilatus or britten-norman variety.

    given that the skill level involved in thusly launching a car without a parachute is essentially zero, fifteen thousand clams seems like a lot of money. whatever it is that they're throwing the car out of is a typical big skydiver hauler. total fuel to 13,000 feet is less than $100 or $200 worst case. Car clean up = $300 or so (let's just say). Pilot - $150, absolute max. Assorted handlers--let's say, a few hundred. $15k seems way out of line.

    Of course, if your client is toyota or whoever it said in the article, you might as well charge $150k.

    FWIF: (FAA) Federal Aviation Regulations state that it is legal to throw / drop things from an airplane as long as care is taken to insure no damage to persons or property on the surface.

  • That this will be the first time in history that seatbelts DON'T save lives... Crash test dummies be damnned...
  • They're just trying to draw out a superhero, like in Unbreakable [imdb.com]! I mean, come on! Dropping a bus full of tourists from a plane at 15,000 feet? Why don't they also get a second plane, fill it full of young women that have relationships with teenage/20-something men, and drop them all at the same time?

    Instant superhero's dilemma!

    You're bound to get a Superman or Spiderman from that!
  • "What is the airspeed of an unladen Greyhound?"
  • Their eventual goal is to drop a Greyhound with 40 people inside...with or without a parachute.
  • My opinion... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AndyMan! (31066) <{chicagoandy} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday September 19, 2002 @12:46AM (#4286702)
    I'm a skydiver, I've got over 400 jumps to my name.

    Joe Jennings and crew have been tossing stuff out of airplanes in Arizona for quite a few years now. Joe does it because he's a profesional cinematographer, he's the guy that filmed the skydiving scenes in most of the recent James Bond films, plus recently Charlie's Angels and XXX. If there's an ad that features skydiving, Joe shot it.

    Joe films these, and puts them on DVD - his most recent one is called "Good Stuff" - and you can buy it from www.joejennings.com [joejennings.com]. Buy it. It's worth it. Lots of incredible (and funny!) work.

    Geeks will appreciate this. One of the funnier scenes, Joe throws a living room out of the back of the Skyvan. (note the skyvan is a turbo-prop, not a "jet".) I said they threw a living room out. They did it twice, they rigged up sofa's and loveseats, table lamps, telephones, tv sets, bolted it togeather on a platform, stuck two skydivers in the loveseat, the rolled the whole contraption out the back of the tailgate. What made is so cool is the tablelamps actually WORKED, and the TV was turned on. The tv worked all the way to impact.

    I chuckled to myself when I read in the article "There have been no close calls, near misses or injuries in any of the jumps." On one of the "living room drops", the living room landed 20 feet from the ground film crew. Overheard on the video is "fuck that was close..."

    Anyways I hate to make a post that's largely a sales pitch for a DVD, but for gods sake check this out. It's called "Good Stuff", and you can get it on www.joejennings.com [joejennings.com]

    Its got full video of all of the car drops, both living room drops, the "chuteless" jumps, and whole lotta other REALLY cool shit.

    _Am
  • What I wouldn't pay to see the Military take up on this idea and drop explosive rigged schoolbuses or greyhound busses and drop them over Baghdad like this.

    "One of the 200 or so ways that you can make a difference"

    Damn, I miss Interstate 76. The only game I've ever played where you can rig a schoolbus with guns.

    • Re:Military (Score:3, Funny)

      by DarkHelmet (120004)
      Either that, or have the bus go at a velocity so that it crashes into the side of one of their buildings.

      "That'll show you how it's done!"

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