Team Brings in Third State Record to Round Out 2023
Records | Mar 19, 2024
Team Brings in Third State Record to Round Out 2023

Ehrin Huhn

Above: The record-setting formation flies over Skydive Georgia.

Bust out the yellow ramen sweatshirt; another record is in the books! The celebratory clothing item made another appearance this year after Wes Sandler and Michael Hoover’s team of wingsuiters set a third state big-way formation record to close out the 2023 season.

After a Michigan record event in September, the team was ready to heat things up a bit, both in climate and in flying skills, by traveling south in December to Skydive Georgia in Cedartown. Located approximately 60 miles northwest of Atlanta, warmer temps would surely be in the forecast, right? Not quite.

On Friday, December 15, at 7:30 a.m., the surface temperature was a brisk 28 degrees Fahrenheit with frost-covered ground. With the forecast predicted to bring high winds and rain for Saturday and Sunday, the team had one day to try for a record. This time around, Sandler and Hoover were asking for more from the participants: tighter formations and an increased level of flying skills. With the expectation set early, Sandler rallied the team, began formulating a plan and had the briefing completed by 8:45. At 9:00, the air temperature had risen only 11 degrees.

Into the cold, the 16 participants climbed the hill in the landing area to dirt dive the exit. “Rear, front, rear, front,” Sandler called out, designating the exit order. “Exit with your exit buddy,” Sandler instructed. The team practiced the exit and approach to the formation until it was smooth.

The first jump shook off the jitters, and the second jump had room for improvement but nevertheless resulted in many smiling faces and high-fives. Collectively, the team agreed to scale back in numbers and put their most-skilled flyers together for jump three. With minor adjustments and an alternate in place, jump four was the first official record attempt. The team was in high spirits after landing, but when they entered the hangar, they quickly learned that the camera used to capture the flight had malfunctioned. “We’ll just have to do it again,” said Mike Heil, one of the wingsuiters.

With eager flyers and camera gear fully operational, they set out for the final jump. This jump was one of the tightest and cleanest formations performed by the team this year and resulted in an 11-way Georgia Record for Largest No-Grip Wingsuit Formation. That’s when Sandler pulled out the ramen sweatshirt.

So, what’s the story on the sweatshirt? After arriving for the Ohio record in May (the team’s first record event), Sandler immediately purchased the sweatshirt after realizing he had no warm clothing in his luggage. After setting the Ohio record, he wore the sweatshirt that evening while celebrating with the team. He now brings it with him to all record attempts and dons the ramen when the team is successful.

The support of DZO Hans Paulson, pilot Jacob Steinert and manifester Tyler Lackey were instrumental in helping the team reach its goal at Skydive Georgia. Where will the team head next? Keep an eye out as they may visit a drop zone near you!

Ehrin Huhn | C-51796
St. Johns, Michigan>/em

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