Newspaper Archive of
Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
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Mason County Journal
News of Mason County, WA
July 10, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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July 10, 2014

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Thursday, July 10, 2014 - Mason County Journal - Page A-15 i~ ~ ~i~i~ ~i~iii~! ~ii~i~!~iiii!:i!~,~ii~~II, ~ ~ ~i~i i!~i, i~, Photos courtesy of Justin Duclos Tandem master Ryan Sawyers and Journal employee Lloyd Mullen freefall from a 13,000-foot drop June 30. 1o rnal reporter risks safety, ,er..,,atw,.n', thecase. U When I opened the front door to the Kapowsin fa- cility, a woman was behind the bar, casually cleaning descent the kitchen area. That is howI would.sum up this skydiving crew - casual ~, ' Introductions were short, as was my, waiting ~ime By LLOYD MULLEN to take off. From entering the building to steppir~g lloyd@masoncounty.com into the plane, I would guess 15 minutes had passed. These people knew what they were doing. of a plane last week. Let me After my camera gear had hit the floor, they rephrase that. I was strapped to a guy who dressed me in a blue speed suit (my terminology), and jumped out of a plane last week I just flailed covered me in straps. on my way out. Sawyers Checked my gear, patted me down, tight- About nine months ago, the publisher of enedmy straps and proceeded to instruct me in the way of skydiving, the Mason County Journal, Tom Hyde, of-"When I tap you on the shoulders, push your hips fered any employee at the Journal, a freej~np out of an airplane. The catch - that person ~ have to forward and kick your legs back," he said. document the trip. [ decided to take himLl~ on ~at Though I'm sure he went into greater detail, that's ' all I needed to know. The other biggie? Do not, and he offer. I made my decision June 27. It wasn't as difficldt repeated, do not touch his hands on the way down. as you might think. The experience of a lifetime for Fast forward 10 minutes and we were in the plane. free. About eight people were packed in the plane. We went June 30 was the first day of sunshine, from zero to 13,000 feet in what felt like five minutes. A series of checks took place on the way up. As I Before leaving the office on the way to Skydive Kapowsin, near the Sandersori Field in Shelton, I at- sat in the lap of my tandem master, or as close to that tempted to call my wife to let her know that I loved as you can without actually sitting in one's lap, he her. She didn't answer, so an email sufficed. On the adjusted clips, assured me I wasn't going to die and way, I also called my brother Louie, to let him know reminded me to kick my legs back when we left the the potentially life ending decision I had just made. plane. "Really?" he said. He asked me whether I would Ahead of me were solo divers, apparently intrain- have any issues holding my bodily fluids in check on ing. my way out the plane - my words, not his. I guessed At 13,000 feet, the sliding door opened. This was it. 0.5 seconds. - Luckily for me and my tandem master Ryan Saw- see DIVE, page A-24 Aerial view of Sawyersa_nd Mu!len over Shelton ........ sawyers and Mullen fall from an airplane