Utah Man Makes 9,000th Jump

Utah Man Makes 9,000th Jump

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Now that jump No. 9,000 is out of the way, Utah skydiver Jack Guthrie is looking ahead to 10,000.

After 35 years of leaping from planes, Guthrie made the milestone 9,000th jump Saturday and was honored by the U.S. Parachute Association.

The 34,000-member organization awarded him the USPA Octa Diamond Expert Parachute Wings for having completed 9,000 free-fall sky dives in accordance with association standards. And the 57-year-old has no plans to stop.

"If I have been grounded for long, when the (plane) door opens I start to salivate," Guthrie said.

Guthrie, who runs his own jump business at the Tooele Airport, has been skydiving ever since his first jump, which was out of a Cessna 172 in 1968.

"It was rough -- like playing a game of tackle football with friends," said Guthrie. "But the minute I landed, in the same hour, I went back up and made jump No. 2."

Guthrie doesn't worry about the danger of leaping from a plane, but does acknowledge he has used his reserve parachute about 30 times.

He said he's in the business for love, not money.

"Very few drop zone owners are rich," he said. "As soon as I quit worrying about making a million dollars, I realized how wealthy I really was -- only about 200 people in the world have a career like I've got."

Guthrie's next goals: 10,000 jumps and walking across the Uintas.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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