Central Texas man celebrates 100th birthday by jumping out of a plane
For a lot of people, there's no good reason to jump out of an airplane but Al Blaschke had a hundred reasons..
"Oh, I tell you what, I've had just a fantastic life, a beautiful life, that's why I'm still living I've enjoyed all the way through," said Blaschke.
Al's high flying 100th Birthday celebration Wednesday started earlier with his arrival at the Skydive Temple Airfield near Salado. He convinced a good friend, 72 year old Betty Schleder, to suit up and join him for the trip of a lifetime.
"Oh I think it's always been let's just do it," said Schleder. The plane carrying Al and Betty lifted off a grass runway under a gray overcast sky. It was a slow, cold climb to 10,000 feet.
The Guinness World Record for the oldest person to make a tandem jump is owned by a 101 year old Canadian who did it in 2014. Al, according to jump organizer Tad Browning, ties the record for an American.
Despite his anticipation, always the gentleman, Al followed Betty out the door and into the central Texas sky without hesitation. "No ... I was just concerned that I was going to jump at the right time I didn't want to leave the guy behind," said Blaschke with a laugh.
The free fall reached a speed of about 140 mph.
"It was short, it was too short that was quite a chuck when that shoot opened."
With the chutes deployed everything quickly slow down.
"You are looking. Im not thinking. You're just floating there and taking in everything you can."
With a cheer from friends and family, the Skydiving tandems slid to to a stop. Safely back on the ground the two friends embraced and then went inside to celebrate. "I just had a beautiful life and this is just part of it my whole life is been this way and I just hope you want to keep it going this way," said Blaschke.
There may be another jump four years from now.
Blaschke said he'd like to do it with his grandsons after they graduate from college.