Felterman checks off ‘to do’ item with tandem parachute jump

PATTERSON, La. — Jumping out an airplane at 10,000 feet was one of retired businessman Fulton “Butch” Felterman’s “Bucket List” of things to do and on Friday he checked the jump off that list.

“That was a thrill, absolute thrill,” he said after landing near Perry Flying Center at the Harry P. Williams Memorial Airport about 5 p.m. Friday to an appreciative and thankful audience of family friends.

The jump was for Felterman’s 85th birthday and had been scheduled Sept. 30, but bad weather canceled it.

Felterman made the tandem jump with veteran parachutist Charlie McIntyre of Skydive N’Awlins based in Slidell.

“Congratulations, you did a good job,” said McIntyre following the landing.

Felterman, who had been a pilot for about 25 years, said it was a good ride.

“It was really gorgeous,” he said. “Once you get off that plane it is just so quiet and peaceful.”

Alfred Neuman of Skydive N’Awlins said the tandem jump begins at about 10,000 feet where McIntyre and Felterman would leave the plane and fall at about 130 mph. A 48-inch drone chute keeps them from going faster to a terminal velocity of up to 300 mph, he said.

The main chute is opened at about 4,000 feet and the descent slows to about 20 mph.

The parachute flies “just like an airplane,” Neuman said.

Felterman recommended the jump to any other 80-something-year-old “provided that they are in pretty good physical condition.”

Felterman pointed out his landing was off somewhat because he couldn’t retract his legs enough as an example of age affecting the flight.

“If I don’t do it now I probably won’t be able to very many more years,” he said. “I’m going to do it while I can.”

Neuman said it is not unusual for seniors to do the tandem jump. Also routine is for quadriplegic and paraplegics to make the jump, he said. There is no age limit except for under 18 because jumps must sign a legal consent form, he said.

Asked about what else is on his bucket list of things to do, Felterman said, “I haven’t decided yet but I have a number of things.”

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