André-Jacques Garnerin – The First Successful Skydiver or Parachutist

It is true that many people might not consider the experience of skydiving or parachuting. One reason is that this kind of outdoor activity is definitely exciting, but also very scary. When a person dives, it usually begins from the highest point of the earth and moving against the gravity to float in the air.

According to history, the idea to fall from the sky perhaps happened in China back in 1100s. To date, they now consider this kind of activity as “base jumping” or a person needs to jump from a higher cliff and floating in the air before reaching the ground using what they consider now as a parachute. Of course, there are other many stories on where skydiving or parachuting originates and it is somehow difficult on which came first.

Based on the shared information through, the first skydiver who successful jumped in an altitude of almost 3,200 feet is French man André-Jacques Garnerin in Paris. His attempt happened back in October 22, 1797 when he utilized a hydrogen balloon with an attached parachute and then jumping from the sky to ascend in the ground.

Although he did not achieved the exact air vent he needed to land perfectly, Garnerin still managed to land on the ground without any injury with a little hesitation.

In an effort to prove their legacy, his wife Jeanne-Genevieve made a decision to do the same achievement of husband and became the first-ever female parachutist in history after her successful attempt in year 1799. Both of them did not stop in pursuing their goals because in year 1802, the courageous skydiver or parachutist from France attempted to jump with an altitude of 8,000 feet and succeeded.

He completed such breathtaking jump in England as part of the exhibition.

History likewise revealed that Leonardo da Vinci had made a sketch that feature the first parachute in late of 1485 using blueprints, as detailed through In an effort to prove the idea of the great da Vinci, Adrian Nicholas replicated his blueprints and created a parachute in June 26, 2000. His creation weighs about 187 pounds with canvas, rope and wood materials.

Nicholas successfully completed his attempt wherein he started jumping from an altitude of 10,000 feet and cut off the first parachute within 7,000 feet before landing on the ground safely.

The use of parachutes continued to flourish since the success of the first skydiver André-Jacques Garnerin. Like during the historical World War II (WWII), the different military units already use parachutes for various tactical operations. In addition, they even use these types of inventions as part of the skydiving contests when not in war. With this kind of idea, they even included it for the national sporting competitions that started in year 1952.

Going back to the first successful French parachutist or skydiver, they recognized him as the inventor of a parachute without a frame and a famous balloonist. As part of recognizing his remarkable skills and achievement, they appointed him as France’s Official Aeronaut, as detailed through Wikipedia.

Perhaps one of the most interesting facts about Garnerin is that he was able to develop his skills even better under the supervision of Jacques Charles (a known pioneer professor in the industry of ballooning.  From the recorded information, he became successful in his goals during that time and got the opportunity to complete his ballooning tasks with Jean-Baptiste-Olivier Garnerin (his older brother).

The famous and historic parachutist or skydiver from France died on August 18, 1823 caused by a balloon incident when he is testing a new created parachute in Paris at the age of 54.


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