May 14, 2009

Man celebrates 80th birthday by skydiving

A Nevada man said he celebrated his upcoming 80th birthday by skydiving with 11 friends at Boulder City Municipal Airport.

Al Masters, 79, whose 80th birthday is coming up in July, said he and his entourage, most of whom he knew from the Legacy Golf Club, plummeted 15,000 feet during their May 3 tandem jumps at the airport's Las Vegas Skydive, the Las Vegas Sun reported Thursday.

The soon-to-be octogenarian said he was by far the oldest person on the skydiving trip -- the second oldest person in his group of friends is 40.

These guys can't keep up with me, he said. I even beat them at golf.

Masters said the first 9,000 feet of the fall, before the parachute opened, was his favorite part of the experience.

You're going so fast, it's like you're stretching yourself on a ball, he said. It feels like the air is holding onto you.

Masters said he hopes to go skydiving again, but next time he plans to take the four-hour course that will let him jump solo.