World record vertical formation attempt. Photo: Brian Buckland
On August 1, 2012, I joined more than 138 skydivers from around the world at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, to photograph an attempt at the largest formation ever built in freefall. All the jumpers had to do was link up while plummeting headfirst toward the earth at 165mph. Here's how they did it.
Everything began a long time before the record jump. Over the course of the past year, there have been several tryout camps around the world, from California to Florida to Spain to Dubai—to name just a few. Skydivers show off their skills and event organizers select the best and extend invites to the world record jump.