Antipodal skydive


Can two skydivers be in free-fall and moving in opposite directions at the a same time? If so, is one of them falling UP?


Inspired by internet performance artist and TED speaker Ze Frank and his 2006 “earth sandwich” idea, In 2013 two skydivers will perform the worlds first simultaneous antipodal skydive where two people will be in Freefall at opposite ends of the planet at exactly the same time.

The goals are to have a little fun, help people think outside the box, showcase how today we are living in a connected world and do something that has never been done before.

Project Objectives:
1- To time both exits as closely as possible so that each jumper spends as much time as possible in antipodal Freefall.
2- For each jumper to manoeuvre as close as possible to the others relative antipodal point while still in Freefall.
(This will require the use of a GPS in freefall).
3- For each jumper to place a slice of bread at their exact antipodal point in recognition of Ze Franks original Earth Sandwich idea and to act as a landing target for each jumper.

Facts and figures:

Southern Hemisphere drop zone:
Skydive Hastings
Hastings, New Zealand
Time Zone UTC+12
coordinates -39.6482°, 176.7642°
Elevation 21m

Northern Hemisphere drop zone:
Skydive Lillo
Lillo, Spain
Time Zone UTC+1
coordinates 39.7166°, -3.3193°
Elevation 684m

In order for each skydiver to be exactly opposite each other in freefall, one drop zone needs to be moved by approx 11km. The plan is to move the New Zealand jump to a location 11km to the south west.
coordinates -39.7179°, 176.6748°
Elevation 54m


It should be possible to place each slice of bread on exact opposite sides of the planet with an accuracy of 1 metre.
In Freefall our ultimate goal is to be accurate to within 10 metres however because this is the worlds first antipodal skydive we will be satisfied with an accuracy of 100 metres.
How accurate we can be will depend on how well our GPS performs in Freefall.

4’000 metres (4km) ASL (above sea level)
Distance between jumpers at exit: 12750km
Distance between jumpers at landing: 12742km
Closing speed: 400kmph

Light from the sun reaches both sides of the planet simultaneously for approximately one hour twice per day. This time is called “civil twilight“.
This means that the jumpers have a 1 hour window to exit their respective aircraft and land safely back on earth. Weather permitting the jumps will coincide with the September Equinox
Two possibilities are being considered for the jump, each with a slightly different window of opportunity:
Option A = 64 minute window of opportunity:
Opens: 22nd September 2013 at 05:32 UTC 22nd September 07:32 CET 22nd September 17:32 NZST
Closes: 22nd September 2013 at 06:36 UTC 22nd September 08:36 CET 22nd September 18:36 NZST
Option B = 58 minute window of opportunity:
Opens: 22nd September 2013 at 17:34 UTC 22d September 19:34 CET 23rd September 05:34 NZST
Closes: 22nd September 2013 at 18:32 UTC 22d September 20:32 CET 23rd September 06:32 NZST


A short documentary of this world first will be available on sponsors YouTube channels. The video may possibly feature at TEDx Christchurch 2013.
We also have the possibility to produce two live streams from both sides of the world, budget permitting.
This stunt would not be possible without modern GPS and video enabled mobile phones and the internet.
Using specialised GPS tracking hardware / software we have the possibility to record each jumpers flight path in Freefall and make this available through Google Earth.
The opportunity exists for sponsors to participate in the worlds first antipodal skydive hand in hand with the skydive team as co-content creators.
Ideal partners include companies in the travel, IT, telecommunications, media or FMCG business.
-Contact: for more information or to get involved.
HD video and High-res still images will be available via Dropbox and Youtube. for participating media outlets.

Current sponsors:
Skydive Lillo
Skydive Hastings

GPS 4 sport

The Surveying Company


Chuck Berry:

Chuck is a professional skydiver, basejumper, stuntman, cameraman, test pilot, aircraft engineer, juggler, filmmaker & motivational speaker. His skydiving career started when he was a school kid. He achieved fourth place in the 1992 World Champs and became a full time skydive instructor and freefall cameraman in Queenstown’s fledging adventure tourism industry in 1994.
Life changed for Chuck when he broke his neck in a motorbike accident in 1997. He realised how lucky he was and the event became a catalyst for him to pursue his dreams in life with more vigor than ever. During his recovery, he focused on all the things he had dreamed of and set about making them happen. He became a Red Bull athlete for skydiving and basejumping and travelled around the world to break world records in a wide variety of aerial stunts displays.
He performed with many of the heroes he has admired. Chuck is passionate about sharing his ideas around breaking down barriers, living life to the full, achieving dreams, and the importance of visualizing a positive outcome. Anything is possible, there is always a way. Thoughts without actions are just thoughts.


Mike McGrath

With 11,000 skydives to his credit since 1988 and instructing since 1997 Mike has taught as a tandem and Accelerated Freefall instructor at more skydive centers in more countries than any other instructor in the world.
Mike represented Australia at 4 International competitions securing 1 Silver medal for Australia at the 2003 World Cup of artistic skydiving in Vienna Austria.
After two near death experiences in the mid 1990s Mike decided to experiment with life and live by a mantra of “Only Forwards“. Between 1997 and 2012 Mike proceeded to travel around the world 20 times as a professional skydiver, competitive skydiver and then as an entrepreneur. Mike bought 1 way tickets wherever possible and never spent more than 3 months in the same bed during this time. “Moving only forwards, living the dream and taking the path less traveled in this way was a truly beautiful way to experience and learn from life”.


Science Adviser Ryan Swindle

Ryan likes physics, flight, and beer — as fate would have it, he found skydiving. He still holds dearly that childhood dream of spaceflight, aspiring to be an astronaut and further evolve the human presence in space. Ryan has researched under the auspices of NASA and university/private laboratories, working on cool space bound gadgets ranging from gamma-ray detectors to infrared spectropolarimeters, which brings him ultimately to challenging aviation projects such as this. Along the way, Ryan has become a USPA A-License holder, licensed Private Pilot, SCUBA diver, and passionate zymurgist. With a B.A. in Physics (2006) and B.S. in Aerospace Engineering (2008), he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Astronomy at the University of Hawaii. He is still a budding aviator, with 40 skydives, only 1 set of line twists, and approximately 100 flight hours. Superman is his favorite superhero.

The TEDx connection
1- The idea was inspired by TED speaker Ze Frank
2- Both Chuck and Mike have spoken at TEDx conferences in their respective countries.
Mike’s TEDx talk
Chuck’s TEDx talk
3- If all goes well we hope that this project will be included as part of the upcoming TEDx Christchurch event in 2013


Sunset skydives = Sunset then sunrise then sunset in the space of 1 hour.

On a sunset skydive the aircraft takes off during evening twilight after the sun has already set for a person observing from the ground. As the aircraft climbs to altitude a person on-board will see the sun begin to rise in the west as the increase in altitude allows them to see beyond the horizon from where they took off. As the skydiver exits the aircraft they will see the sun set once more, very quickly, as they free-fall back to earth. They will in effect experience 2 sunsets in the space of an hour.

Sunrise skydives = Sunrise then sunset then sunrise in the space of 1 hour

As an aircraft climbs higher during morning twilight the effect is one of a premature sunrise. On a sunrise skydive the aircraft takes off before the sun rises for a person observing from the ground. As the aircraft climbs to altitude a person on board will see the sun rise in the east before sunrise is experienced by a person on the ground because the increase in altitude allows them to see beyond the horizon experienced by people observing from the ground where they took off. As the skydiver exits the aircraft they will see the sun set as they free-fall back to earth. Once on the ground they will then see the sun rise once more as the planet revolves eastwards towards the sun.

Sunrise and sunset skydives provide an extremely unique perspective for the individual skydiver due to the highly subjective experience of being in flight at just the right point in time and space.

NOTE: With a live event of this nature weather plays an important role and visuals can never be guaranteed.

idea sharing:

Part of the drive to turn this idea into reality is the notion there has never been a better time to turn ideas into reality and do something first time in the world. It doesn’t matter what your into, in today’s rapidly changing connected world your imagination is free to manifest reality. If YOU can think of it the chances are that YOU can make it happen.

If you have read this blog this far then I challenge you to open your mind, discover and explore your own ideas and set out to make them happen. It has never never been easier to take your ideas and dreams and turn them into something real!

Interesting, relevant videos worth exploring


Interesting websites worth exploring:

The physics of skydiving down a bottomless pit

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