Western Illinois University Assistant Computer Science Professor Larry Andrew recently completed his 1000th skydiving jump.
Andrew, 60-year-old cancer survivor, completed his 999th, 1,000th and 1001st jumps on Saturday, Sept. 15 in the Quad Cities area.
Andrew said he and his sister have been flying since they were young because his father was a pilot who owned several airplanes. He added skydiving to his passions in 1974when his sister called him while he was in college and the pair jumped together in Orange, Ma.
“I made 7 jumps that summer, but due to work schedules, logistics and life in general I did not jump again for 23 years,” he said. “In 1999 I moved to Macomb and discovered a drop zone here at the Smith Airfield on the east side of town. So I started again and this time I stayed with it. Along the way I earned all four skydiving licenses offered by the U.S. Parachute Association and an instructor’s rating.”
Besides jumping from small aircraft, Andrew has also completed jumps from high altitudes that required oxygen as well as helicopters, a DC-9 airplane, a Russian WWII biplane and a hot air balloon.
“I am also the current co-holder of the unofficial high altitude record for sport skydiving in Illinois,” Andrew said. “I intend to continue skydiving as long as I can do so safely, along with my other hobbies of paragliding, rock climbing, and spelunking. I also would like to get back into scuba again if the opportunity presents itself.”
For the last two years, Andrew has completed about 20 jumps per year.