Last Friday some 164 skydivers formed the largest ever vertical skydiving formation smashing the record of 138 skydivers in 2012. The formation was in the shape of a giant flower and was seen in the skies above Ottawa, Illinois where a skydiving convention was being held.  

Those skydivers jumped out of their planes at 19,700 feet and were traveling at a speeds between 160 to 240 miles per hour which made the jump even more remarkable.

The video made me think back about when Quincy was the home of the World Free Fall Convention. The convention brought thousands of people to Quincy during the conventions from the late 1980's through 2001. Increased costs and complaints about illegal activity prompting an increased police presence led to the convention leaving Quincy. Rantoul, Illinois was the site for the convention the next year until 2007.

In 1992, I actually got the opportunity to take a tandem jump and loved every minute of it. I actually was broadcasting live on the air during the entire jump through the landing. It is a memory I will always enjoy.

Like thousands of others who took the opportunity to jump in Quincy, I miss the fact that the convention is no longer here. It was fun to be a part of, to watch and it was great for the local restaurants and hotels.

I can remember cars parked near the airport with kids with picnic baskets just looking towards the skies for hours watching the next parachute open up and gliding to the ground. Lots of memories for sure.

Maybe some day we can lure a convention like the one held in Ottawa back to Quincy. Thoughts?

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