PHOTOS, VIDEO: MoDOT employee finds a new way of transportation… skydiving

Photo courtesy of Doris DumeyPhoto courtesy of Doris Dumey

With the nation’s congested highway, one woman who works for the Missouri Department of Transportation’s (MoDOT) Southeast District has found another way to get around – by parachute!

Photo courtesy of Doris DumeyPhoto courtesy of Doris Dumey

Doris Dumey, CAP-OM (pronounced Demi, like Demi Moore), is the executive assistant to the MoDOT District Engineer, Mark Shelton, at the Sikeston, Missouri District office. After I wrote the blog post, “Woman Skydives into Moving Car,” for our blog (which later ran in the December 2013 print edition of Better Roads), the MoDOT district engineer showed Dumey the article because she is a skydiver.

Excited to see an article about females skydiving not only in something other than Parachutist magazine, but in an industry in which she also works, Dumey wrote to me.

“He [Shelton] brought this to my attention because I am a skydiver,” Dumey wrote. “I made my first skydive on September 1, 2001. I thought I just wanted to do it once so I could say that I did it. I was bitten by the skydiving bug and have not stopped since. As of January 1, 2014 I have made 1,101 skydives.”

Dumey wrote to me a couple of months ago, so I’m sure that number has risen since.

She has earned her A, B, C, and D licenses as well as her Coach, I.A.D. Instructor and PRO Ratings. She shoots video and takes still photos while skydiving with experienced skydivers and tandems. Dumey jumps with the Southeast Missouri Skydiving (SEMO) club, which is based out of Cairo, Illinois.

Photo courtesy of Doris DumeyPhoto courtesy of Doris Dumey

Some of the aircraft from which she has jumped include the following:

  • AN2
  • DC9
  • Casa
  • Skyvan
  • Caravan
  • Twin Otter
  • Super Otter
  • King Air
  • Carvair
  • C130
  • Hot Air Balloon
  • Huey Helicopter
  • R9 Helicopter
  • Sikorsky Helicopter
  • Bell Helicopter
  • Cessna 172
  • Cessna 182
  • Cessna 205
  • Cessna 206
Photo courtesy of Doris DumeyPhoto courtesy of Doris Dumey

“I do demonstration jumps carrying flags, or flying with smoke canisters at airshows, county fairs, carry the game ball into football games, and even jump into family reunions,” Dumey wrote. “Although I have not skydived into a moving vehicle, I have dived through hula hoops, gone out of the plane in an inflated raft, put pieces on Mr. Potato Head, passed a tennis ball to other skydivers, and played Rock ‘em Sock ‘em robots all while freefalling between 110 to 120 mph.”

That’s pretty cool – and one heck of a way to get around!

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I have not gone skydiving yet. However, when I mention that it’s on my bucket list, some friends ask me, “Why would you want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane?”

Although I’m sure I will completely freak out once I am ready to jump, I think it would be amazing to see the world from that perspective. It’s also, of course, about the thrill.

Since having kids, I’m still pretty adventurous, though just a bit more cautious. Next time when someone asks me why skydiving is on my list to do, maybe I should answer, “To get around Chicago-area congestion.”

When I finally do decide to go skydiving, I’ll know who to call up!

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