106-year-old Georgetown man sets record while skydiving with Gov. Abbott

FENTRESS, TX (KXAN) — The plane finally revved to life around 8:40 Monday morning on a lone runway paved over rural ranch land under a clearing sky.

The conditions at Skydive Spaceland San Marcos had been closely watched by the flight crew, which opted to delay the takeoff by 30 minutes because of earlier cloud cover.

With a security team, staffers, and Caldwell County Sheriff’s deputies looking on, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott loaded onto the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter plane, joined by his guest of honor, a 106-year-old World War II veteran.

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott skydives with 106-year-old WWII veteran Al Blaschke (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)
  • IMG 5529
  • IMG 5527
  • IMG 5530
  • IMG 5524
  • IMG 5523
  • IMG 5525
  • IMG 5526

Al Blaschke helped make parts for planes during the war, and set the record as the oldest person in the world to skydive when he turned 103. This day he beat his own record, joined by Abbott, who was skydiving for the first time.

As the two dived in tandem while strapped to their instructors, Abbott fulfilled a promise to Blaschke he made when he first heard his story a year ago when the two met at Georgetown’s Sun City.

Abbott said the jump was a thrill, describing a feeling unlike any other when he exited the plane.

“The most shocking sensation is when you immediately exit the plane, and you’re just in freefall. I had no clue where we were. We stabilized and then flew for a while without the parachute. [You] feel the parachute. It’s a lot of fun. It’s just amazing peace out there. It’s nice and calm,” Abbott said.

Blaschke’s family said they expect this jump to be his last, with Al’s 107th birthday coming up in January. If that’s the case, he made the most of it, singing Frank Sanatra’s “When You’re Smiling” as they freefell, then soared down 8,000 feet to earth.

My slogan is ‘keep smiling.’ Every letter I write and every Christmas card, I say… ‘keep smiling.’ Always. Everybody should,” Blaschke said.

Related Posts

65a406f92200003200ad4ac0

Thousands Of Demonstrators March For Palestine Across The World

WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of demonstrators converged opposite the White House on Saturday to call for an end to Israeli military action in Gaza, while children joined…

65a3302a2300003100806e60

Massive Gas Outage Threatens Millions Of Americans’ Energy Supplies Amid Arctic Storm

Emergency shutdown at a natural gas storage facility in Washington state threatens mass blackouts.

65a302dd2300005500806e58

Prankster Tries To Give Ron DeSantis Participation Trophy At Iowa Event

“We’re proud of you for trying,” Davram Stiefler of The Good Liars comedy duo told DeSantis.

65a3198e240000320027f385

Chicago Bulls Fans Boo As Jerry Krause's Widow Accepts Honor In His Place

The team’s former general manager died in 2017.

65a2fb7e2300005600806e55

Viral Rapper Says He’s Innocent After Kidnapping Allegations

A viral Texas rapper is claiming his innocence after being accused of kidnapping a pregnant woman and keeping her locked in his garage. Lee Carter, 52, better…

65a2c9d72200005300fb00fc

Bills-Steelers Playoff Game Postponed Amid Forecast For Dangerous Winter Weather

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A potentially dangerous winter storm forecast to hit the Buffalo region over the weekend led the NFL on Saturday to push back the…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *