Born Georgia Ann Thompson, at the age of 15 she saw Charles Broadwick's World Famous Aeronauts parachute from a hot air balloon and decided to join the travelling troupe. She later became Broadwick's adopted daughter.
Among her many achievements, she was the first woman to parachute from an airplane on June 21, 1913, jumping from a plane built and piloted by Glenn L. Martin, 1,000 feet over Griffith Park in Los Angeles. She was also the first woman to parachute into water.
In 1914, she demonstrated parachutes to the U.S. Army, which at the time had a small, hazard-prone fleet of aircraft. On one of her demonstration jumps, the static line became entangled in the tail assembly of the aircraft, so for her next jump she cut off the static line and deployed her chute manually, thus becoming the first person to jump free-fall.
By Parabellum @ 2010-03-30 15:41:11