Ron Ross, is a resident of Loveland, Colorado (north of Denver) who works in Greeley is no stranger to adventure. Now 73 years old, his wife died a little more than a year ago.
He and his wife spent seven years as missionaries in Africa.
His brother was a pilot, and his father was a flight instructor during World War II. As a result, Ron Ross has flown many times with them all throughout Colorado and Nebraska.
Although neither his father nor brother ever wanted to skydive, Ron Ross has kind of always had a fascination with it.
Ron Ross, at 73 years of age, one day received an invitation from his friend from work, Darren Sharp, to go skydiving with him to mark his daughter’s 18th birthday. Ross accepted the invitation to go for a little adventure.
He felt now was the time for him to try out what he always wanted to do- jump out of a plane.
Though he had a little anxiety, Ross woke up excited on the day of the jump.
Ross’ friend, Sharp, researched online for places to go and found Rocky Mountain Skydive / Colorado Skydive Club based at Easton Valley View Airport. They went to the skydive club together and made it just in time for opening weekend.
Sharp said that “it was a great add-on for Weld County,”
The skydive club opened up April 1 after moving from Boulder County. Tom Morrow, who runs the new operation, started jumping out of planes for fun after he got out of the military. He had been doing it for so long, he thought he’d turn it into a job.
Morrow said that there are two options for jumping- tandem and solo.
In a tandem jump, an instructor is attached to divers and is in charge of opening the parachute and sticking the landing. In a solo jump, divers jump alone. Divers are taken in an aircraft to an altitude of up to 14,000 feet above sea level. Divers jump from the plane and freefall, eventually hitting terminal velocity of about 120 miles per hour. The fall lasts for about 40 seconds, after which the parachute opens.
Morrow knows such a sport isn’t for everyone. To some people, it can be scary and a little dangerous. However, Morrow said that if there wasn’t an element of danger, the sport wouldn’t have any appeal.
One of the most common injuries in skydiving is ankle injury. This often happens to tandem divers who put their feet down too soon.
Sharp’s daughter, Kylie, whose birthday was being marked, watched as instructors tightened the straps on Ross’ harness. Kylie had wanted to go for skydiving for a long time. She was always always intrigued by the adrenaline rush, but she was a little nervous, too.
Before leading him out of the plane, instructors made sure Ross’ harness was very tight.
Ross and his instructor crawled inside through the plane’s small door. The propeller revved up, and the plane took off.
On reaching the proper altitude, they both jumped into the air and spiraled toward earth. At a certain point, the parachute opened, and the two jumpers floated down to the ground.
Ross finally touched down safely, the only casualty being his disheveled hair. With his legs trembling and shaking, Ross couldn’t remember much other than that he’d had a good time.
According to Ross, the hardest part of it all was getting out the plane. He said the dive was worth it, but he will not do it again. He does recognize it would be fun for other people, especially the younger ones.
“It’s quite a thing to do,” Ross said.