OTTAWA, Illinois (News21USA) — A 104-year-old Chicago woman hopes to be certified as the oldest person to skydive after performing a tandem jump Sunday and landing 13,500 feet (4,100 meters) later at a northern airport of Illinois.
“Age is just a number,” Dorothy Hoffner told a cheering crowd moments after touching down Sunday at Chicago Skydive Airport in Ottawa, about 85 miles (140 kilometers) southwest of Chicago, the Chicago reported. Tribune.
The Guinness World Record for the oldest skydiver was established in May 2022 by 103-year-old Swedish Linnéa Ingegärd Larsson. But Skydive Chicago is working to have Guinness World Records certify Hoffner’s jump as a record, WLS-TV reported.
Hoffner skydived for the first time when she was 100 years old. On Sunday, she left her walker just before the Skyvan at the Ottawa airport and was helped up the stairs to join the others waiting inside to skydive.
“Come on, come on, Geronimo!” Hoffner said after she was finally seated.
When she jumped for the first time at age 100, she had to be pushed out of the plane. But on Sunday, strapped to an instructor certified by the United States Parachute Association, Hoffner insisted on leading the jump.
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She seemed calm and confident as the plane was airborne and the aft door opened to reveal tan crop fields far below, shortly before crawling to the edge and leaping into the air.
The dive lasted seven minutes and the plane shot down Hoffner after her parachute opened for a slow descent. Finally, the wind pushed Hoffner’s white hair back as she clung to the harness covering her narrow shoulders, she lifted her legs as the ground approached and she dropped onto a grassy area at the airport.
Her friends rushed to share congratulations, while someone brought in Hoffner’s red walker. She quickly got up and a reporter asked her how she felt when she returned to the ground.
“Wonderful,” Hoffner said. “But it was wonderful up there. “Everything was lovely, wonderful, it couldn’t have been better.”
After her jump, Hoffner’s mind quickly turned to the future and other challenges. The lifelong Chicago woman, who will turn 105 in December, said hot air ballooning may be next for her.
“I’ve never been to one of those,” she said.