Australian parachutists are claiming a British Commonwealth record for a free-fall star formation jump over the Wilton area of New South Wales.
AIR TO AIR Beaver aircraft with parachutists beginning jump.
AIR TO GROUND Parachutists falling.
Ditto Three parachutists falling.
Ditto, nine parachutists joining formation.
Ditto, twelve man star with 13th man outside.
Ditto, star breaking.
AIR TO GROUND - Parachutes open.
Initials VS/20.59 VS/21.25
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Background: Australian parachutists are claiming a British Commonwealth record for a free-fall star formation jump over the Wilton area of New South Wales.
Thirteen men jumped from two Beaver aircraft at 12,000 feet (3,660 metres), free-falling for 2,000 feet (610 metres) before opening their parachutes.
Twelve of them linked up in a spectacular star formation - the biggest yet formed by parachutists in Australia or, it appears, anywhere in the Commonwealth. The thirteenth made valiant efforts to join the formation but was unable to reach it in time. The 12-man star was held down to 10,000 feet (3,050 metres).
World interest in free-fall jumping is growing fast and this Australian team is already training for the 1972 world championships. In October last year a British team set a European parachuting record and the first eight-man star achieved outside the United States.
SYNOPSIS: Australian parachutists are claiming a British Commonwealth record for a star-formation drop made over New South Wales. Thirteen men made the jump from two Beaver aircraft.
Free-fall parachuting looks relaxed and carefree, but the Australian team were out to achieve a feat requiring great precision and control. Within a short time three of them had linked up.
As more men joined the growing star, the free-fallers overtook the eight-man European record set by a British team last October. The star-formation has become the classic pattern in this still relatively young sport.
Nine in the star and four to go. Three more managed it but the thirteenth man could not join the star for long enough to qualify. The twelve-man star was easily the largest ever achieved outside the United States. After two-thousand feet the men broke up to parachute to earth.
For the Australian team it was a big milestone, but not the end of the road. They are continuing in training for the world championships due to be held in 1972.