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article imageWatch GoPro: 'Eric Roner's Umbrella Skydive,' Mary Poppins style

By JohnThomas Didymus     Mar 2, 2013 in Lifestyle
An extreme athlete Erick Roner, performing a stunt aptly described as "retro-tech," drops from the sky holding a large umbrella in place of a parachute. His act is reminiscent of the feat by the popular fictional character Mary Poppins.
According to The Huffington Post, Roner teamed up with GoPro to film himself dropping from a hot air balloon with an umbrella.
The video shows him at the moment he is released from the balloon in the skies over Southern California: "We're going to see if an umbrella actually slows you down like Mary Poppins' does."
He holds on to an umbrella and at the count of three he is released from the balloon. He makes a surprisingly smooth fall at first but the pressure of the air soon turns the umbrella inside out and tears the fabric. He abandons the remains of the umbrella and takes a free fall, finally landing with the aid of a backup parachute.
He says after he lands safely on the ground: "That was fun. Thanks for the idea Mary Poppins," and adds: "You’re welcome, science. That was a big step forward. NASA is going to be able to use that one for years to come."
His stunt demonstrates that Mary Poppins' jump has some basis in real-life physics after all: It is possible, at least for a short while, to use a big umbrella to slow down your fall like a parachute does.
More about Skydive, Umbrella, California, mary poppins
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