This idea of having a French record came up a year ago from Arno Fletcher, Fred Fugen and Vince Reffet. These three had already organized the first French record in 2007, in Vichy, where a 21way formation was completed.
Arno Fletcher currently works as an instructor in Pujaut. He is also the founder of the skydiving club called SC420. That’s with this structure that him and other members worked on organizing the event. Fred and Vince, from team Soul Flyers, deal with the technical part, preparing the formation and organizing the jumps. The goal of the 2011 record was 42 ! Meaning to double the size of the previous record.
A first training camp took place in May 2011. About 30 people came to train with Fred and Vince on flying big formation, with 2 Cessnas Caravan. Before the record attempts, on the 16th and 17th of August, we also realized two days of training jumps.
About the event :
A total of 55 freeflyers attended the jumps. The record got covered by the most famous French TV channel on the news program.
There were 3 Cessnas Caravan, plus oxygen. The plan was to jump from 17000ft.
Some members of the Babylon team also participated in the event. Nimmo was the trainer of the reserve team during the record's attempts. Tom and Kuri were filming and taking pictures of the record's jumps. Yohan Rousseau was also taking pictures.
The progress of the event :
August 18th, first day of the attempts: unfortunately, one plane broke down. So the max formation we could do was a 33 way, with only 1 cameraman: Kuri. It tooks us 3 attempts to complete this formation. On the Sunset load of that first day, we already had a new record: 33 ! But we were still far from our goal of 42 people…
On the second day, when the third plane was repaired, we started straight for a 42 way formation. 3 attempts were made that day but no success…. A few people were missing in the formation and some people were new in this kind of jumps.
Finally on the third and last day of attempts, we decided to go back down to 38, which seemed really possible and which meant to reach a bigger record. That day, on the first jump we completed the 38 ! New record again ! But we still had time to keep going. We went then for a 40way, which seemed more likely than the 42…. It took us 2 jumps to complete the formation. New record : 40 !! after that jump, some really good flyers had to leave. Then the event came to an end.
40 is a great number, it was Eurorecord in 2007, and it's almost the double of the previous French record.
Thank you to the SC420 crew, Soul Flyers, Babylon Team, the DZ of Pujaut and all the french Freeflyers for their participation and their support!
Follow the flow !!
Written by Fred Fugen