Wednesday, December 7 , 2016, 5:23 am | Fair 45º


Local News

For 100th Birthday, Arroyo Grande Man Completes Big Leap — 13,000 Feet to be Exact

With family and friends watching from the ground, Skydive Santa Barbara in Lompoc helps centenarian mark milestone

[Click here for a related photo gallery of Lorin Browns jump.]

Lorin Brown didn’t approach his first skydiving adventure Sunday as his last — although he’s 100 years old.

Lorin Brown comes in for a landing with his tandem partner, completing a jump to mark his 100th birthday. (Frank Cowan / Noozhawk photo)
Lorin Brown comes in for a landing with his tandem partner, completing a jump to mark his 100th birthday. (Frank Cowan / Noozhawk photo)

“This is just a practice for the next one,” Brown said.

After a party to celebrate his milestone Saturday, the Arroyo Grande resident showed up at Skydive Santa Barbara at the Lompoc Airport for his leap of faith Sunday.

“This may become a habit,” he added.

In fact, it wasn’t really the jump he deemed the nerve-wracking part of the experience. Instead, he said the most frightening was “the media,” as representatives of Noozhawk, two TV stations and a newspaper were on hand for the event.

Brown apparently displayed a penchant for danger in his youth.

“When I was 9 years old, I jumped from a barn, using an umbrella for a parachute,” he recalled. “I’ve wanted to skydive ever since.”

More than a dozen family members and friends gathered for the birthday celebration. A nephew came from Spokane, Wash., and other family members from Austin, Texas.

“I am excited (to jump) and grateful so many friends and family members could be here,” Brown said.

Brown was a flight dispatcher for American Airlines for more than 30 years before he retired to Arroyo Grande.

What advice would he share with other senior citizens who might want to skydive?

“Wait until they get older,” he quipped.

Back on earth, still wearing his bright-yellow flight suit, goggles and attached to his tandem partner, Brown sported a big smile.

“Today Lorin Brown celebrated his 100th birthday from 13,000 feet with us!” Skydive Santa Barbara posted on its Facebook page Sunday afternoon. “Amazing experience for everyone.”

Click here for a related article.

— This story includes reports from Noozhawk contributor Frank Cowan at the scene. North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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