Tuesday, September 26, 2000

Man, 82, fulfills parachute dream

The Associated Press

        GARRETTSVILLE, Ohio — An 82-year-old World War II veteran who spent his military days on the ground as an Army engineer achieved a long-held dream when he made a tandem parachute dive.

        Jerry Lancaster Sr. of Munson Township completed the dive, hitched to a parachutist, on Friday at the Cleveland Sport Parachuting Center in this Portage County community 40 miles southeast of Cleveland.

        “I've always had dreams that I could float, and I'd love to be able to do that, but I knew it wasn't like I could sprout wings,” Mr. Lancaster said.

        “While you are free-falling, you don't know where you are. Overall, I think it went pretty good,” the News-Herald of Willoughby quoted him as saying.

        He made the 13,000-foot jump tied to parachute instructor Tom Sutton. Mr. Lancaster fell to the ground on landing, but quickly got to his feet to be greeted by his wife and onlookers.

        Mr. Lancaster, who works several days a week at a Cleveland laboratory, had a brief training session before climbing aboard the Cessna 185 C.

        He enjoyed the long-delayed dream jump but isn't ready for more. “Once is enough,” he said.


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