Paraplegic Plans Solo Skydive


MAGGIE VALLEY, N.C., Aug. 19 (UPI) — A North Carolina man who lost the use of his legs in 2005 said he is training to become one of the few paraplegics able to skydive solo.

Patrick Nichols, 30, who became paraplegic after a motorcycle accident, said he has been training for months at the Appalachian Amusement Center in Maggie Valley and has spent most of his time practicing in the wind tunnel, which simulates free-fall, the Ashville (N.C.) Citizen-Times reported Friday.

“I’m a guy who needs adrenaline,” Nichols said. “It’s just something in me. My parents worry like any parents worry, but they get it by now that I’ll be coming up with some sort of harebrained scheme or another for the rest of time.”

Nichols and his trainers, including 30-year instructor John Suitor, said they have developed a set of leg braces, weights and belts to compensate for his inability to move his legs.

Nichols said he plans to set a date for his jump as soon as his special diving suit is completed.

“It’s taken longer than I would have liked but life is unpredictable,” Nichols said. “The sky’s the limit.”

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