60 skydivers to rehearse record-breaking jump at Toogoolawah
PLUMMETING towards earth with only a parachute strapped to his back isn't challenging enough for veteran sky-diver Greg Pack.
The 35-year vet with more than 11,200 jumps under his belt is putting together a team of 120 sky-divers to break a national formation jump record set in 2010.
This week about 60 sky-divers have travelled to Toogoolawah to rehearse jumping in bigger formations ahead of the main event in May next year, two hours south of Los Angeles in the Perris Valley.
The jumpers taking to the sky west of Ipswich at Ramblers Parachute Centre are from varying degrees of experience, Mr Pack said.
The week of training is designed to bring the less experienced sky-divers up to speed with the methodology of formation diving.
Mr Pack said formation jumping involving such a large number of sky-divers added complexity to an already adrenaline-pumping challenge.
"It's definitely a different form of complexity. I also compete in four-way formation sky-diving where you have to do as many formations as you can in 35 seconds.
"If you are doing a four-way jump it takes four people doing the same thing at the same time. With 100 people it takes 100 people doing the same thing at the same time.
"It can be quite frustrating and that's one of the unique complexities. Everybody has to do their best jump at the same time."
Mr Pack's love of sky-diving began during his military career.
"I was in the paramilitary so I didn't have much choice."
Since then his one-time job has blossomed into his passion.
He said while the sport's popularity had grown, the type of people who made it special hadn't changed.
"It's more mainstream than extreme these days. It's a sport which requires people to perform well. There is a tight community of people that look after each other.
"No one has a death wish at all. It's belonging to a group.
"It's an awesome thing to do compared to taking a belly full of beer and drugs."
He said anyone wanting to learn more about sky-diving was welcome to come and have a chat to the seasoned sky-divers.