222 skydivers working on world-record jump in Eloy

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by azfamily.com

Video reports by Bruce Haffner, Fort McDowell Casino News Chopper

Posted on April 1, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 1 at 6:45 PM

ELOY, Ariz. -- More than 220 skydivers from nearly 30 countries tried to break a world record Tuesday morning.

The 222 experienced skydivers are part of The World Team. The divers jumped from 10 airplanes at an altitude of 20,000 feet. The team's goal was to make two formations before the skydivers popped their chutes.

Aerial video from the Fort McDowell Casino News Chopper showed the 222 skydivers dotting the sky as they deployed their chutes and drifted down to the landing area.

According to Gulcin Gilbert, The World Team spokesman, the skydivers have been preparing for the event since Friday with "dirt dives," laying out formations on the ground and skydiving in smaller groups to practice the formations before attempting the jump with all 222 people.

When it comes to skydiving, things happen very fast.

Gilbert said participants will have about 80 seconds to exit the plane and complete both formations before they need to deploy their parachutes.

The first attempt at the world-record jump took place Monday morning. That jump was essentially a dress rehearsal to give the skydivers a feel for what would happen once they were out of the planes.

While winds kept the team on the ground after that jump, they used the time to continue with their dirt dives.

The World Team suited up and gave it another go Tuesday morning. We have not yet heard if they were successful in completing their two formations.

They will be back in the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, weather permitting.

The previous record for a two-point skydive was done in Florida with 110 people in November 2013, according to Skydive Mag.

The Fly It Forward event celebrating The World Team's 20th anniversary continues at Sky Dive Arizona until Friday.

Eloy, which is about 60 miles southeast of Phoenix, was the site of a deadly skydiving accident in early December. Two men collided in mid-air while attempting a world-record group jump with 200 people. The men were part of a different organization trying to break the world record for most people in a double-formation group jump.

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