Adventure

Record-Setting Smokejumper Retires

Longanecker made most jumps ever

Dale Longanecker parachuted out of a plane as a smokejumper for the final time on Friday, 38 year and 896 jumps after he entered the United States Forest Service in 1973. Longanecker, who turned 57 last month and hit the service's mandatory retirement age, racked up more jumps than any other firefighter in U.S. history. He made 362 of his jumps, including one on August 10, into active fires. “It was the opportunity to be on small fires in remote locations,” Longanecker told the Tri-City Herald. “It was just a great way to see the country.” Longanecker grew up next door to one of the country's first smokejumpers and decided on his career at age eight. He has become an expert on parachute design and hopes to sell a new model to the Forest Service in retirement.

Read more at The New York Times

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: News
More Adventure