Former Hungarian Army skydiver György Mészárovics received a lifetime achievement award for his national record of 16,071 jumps on Nov. 27.
Mészárovics, 74, is a retired master sergeant from the Hungarian Army who made his first jump back in 1962 from an AN-2 Soviet-made airplane, which at the time was one of the most ubiquitous planes in Europe. Since then, he has used 57 different types of parachutes and it was only after his 4,000th jump that he first had to make use of his secondary parachute.
“My life was never in danger, as safety always comes first,” he said. The veteran is a national skydiving champion many times over and in 1972 he established a world record with an “absolute zero” jump, meaning that he hit a 2-centimeter target circle while landing.
His last jump was this May after spending a lifetime of jumps that totaled 71-and-a-half hours in freefall, equal to nearly three days in the air.
The world record holder for the most jumps is American Don Kellner, 82, who owns a skydiving firm in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.
Title image: György Mészárovics watching a video recording of his last dive. (source: Magyar Nemzet)