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106-Year-Old WW2 Veteran Skydives to Break Own Record

A 106-year-old World War II veteran took to the skies in the company of Texas Gov Greg Abbott this week as he sought to beat his own record for oldest man to tandem skydive.

Video by former state representative John Cyrier shows Al Blaschke landing safely at Skydive Spaceland San Marcos, outside Fentress.

Abbott and Alfred Blaschke, a wartime aircraft engineer, did separate tandem jumps from 8,500 feet. It was the governor’s first time skydiving. Blaschke skydived to mark his 100th birthday in 2017, and set a world record for the oldest man to skydive in 2020, aged 103 years and 180 days. Rut Linnea Ingegard Larsson is currently listed as the oldest woman to make a skydive, having pulled off the feat in 2022 aged 103 years and 259 days.

A Chicago woman, Dorothy Hoffner, made a tandem jump this year aged 104, shortly before her death. Her jump had yet to be certified.

Blaschke’s latest jump, however, if certified, would see him take the outright record for oldest tandem skydive.

KXAN reported that the Texas governor, who is paralyzed from the waist down, had promised to skydive with Blaschke when he first met him a year ago. Credit: John Cyrier via Storyful

Video transcript

ALFRED BLASCHKE: And you take-- risk the airplane, the parachute is OK.

GREG ABBOTT: I thought you do feel leery when you jump out of the plane.

[LAUGHS]