Ten years ago, when the sport of sky diving was young and barely noticed, a diver falling through thin air was utterly alone and free, for a brief moment master of his whole fate. But today, even while plummeting 120 miles an hour, a diver's time is not always his own. When diving instructor Lynn Pyland jumped from a height of 7,200 feet into the bright, windless sky over Hemet, Calif., his boss, Lew Sanborn, president of the Orange, Mass. Sport Parachuting Center, was right behind him. By stretching his arms backward to gather speed, then using his hands and legs to guide his fall, Boss Sanborn caught up with Pyland at 5,000 feet, passed him a baton and took his picture (right). Then both men opened their chutes and drifted safely to the ground. Not satisfied with this feat, Sanborn next tried chasing Pyland and another of his instructors, Bill Jolly, down from the sky. By the time Pyland passed a baton to Bill Jolly in midair, Boss Sanborn had drawn dead even with them and got the unusual sequence of pictures shown on the following pages.
At 5,000 feet, Pyland passes baton to fellow diver William Jolly (right).
After baton pass, Pyland pushes himself away from Jolly (center).
A half second later, using arms as ailerons, divers veer apart (bottom).
March 20, 1961
Dropping at 120 miles an hour, Pyland takes baton from Lew Sanborn, who snaps a picture of the action with a camera mounted on his helmet.