Monday, May 26, 2008

The Man Who Would Fall to Earth in Saskatchewan

I see the former French paratrooper who plans to jump from a balloon forty kilometres over Saskatchewan has postponed his first attempt.

And I'm not sure whether to be disappointed ..... or RELIEVED. Because something about this story bothers me.

I admire the old guy for his guts and for sacrificing everything for a 20-year dream.

And I know how great the feeling of free falling through the air can be...even if S├ębastien has to kick me in the butt to get me to jump.

But Michel Fournier is sixty-four, has had a triple bypass, is planning to jump from a height three times higher than he ever has before, and reach a speed almost twice as fast as the great Joe Kittinger.

A speed where you could burn, as well as freeze, or have your blood boil.

And if French authorities decided the project was too dangerous to allow him to jump over France...who decided it was safe enough for him to jump over Saskatchewan?

Just wondering.

Oh well. I hope the old guy makes it.

That his dream comes true at last. And that his watch doesn't stop.

So he gets to see our world rushing towards him like the great Joe Kittinger did.

Whose bravery has always thrilled me.

And who said this week:

It was nice to be headed back to earth, because it’s an environment that we can live in...

And it’s a beautiful planet, really....”


Oh least he won't need a surfboard in Saskatchewan.

Bonne chance Michel !!


Anonymous said...

I can tell I’m getting older when I read your concern about his age and realize that it’s no big deal to me, you’ll find out soon enough honey. The only question I had was, Why Prince Albert of all places? Nothing to hit if the chute doesn’t open?

I probably shouldn’t talk, my sister was born there. Ah hell, she’d likely say the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Reading the news this morning I realize it wasn’t Prince Albert, it was North Battleford, a nice town, I’ve been there, they have a really good museum. I guess none of it matters anymore now that the balloon floated off without him.

Simon said...

Hi Bruce !! I didn't really mean to make an ageist comment. I know many good pilots in their sixties. And he's probably in better shape than I am.Ugh.
But he's had a major heart operation, and if you lose control you can start spinning so much the centrifugal force can be brutal. And then there's the question of breaking the sound barrier...
Finally I couldn't help but think that the whole thing looked a little amateurish. And I was right about that one :)