Central Texas skydiver loses shoe, catches it during jump

Posted: 11:36 PM, Oct 16, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-18 14:54:44Z
Central Texas skydiver loses shoe, catches it during jump

A skydiver in Central Texas lost his shoe during a jump last month, but managed to catch it while he was still in the air.

Shelby Palmer, a tandem instructor at Skydive Temple in Salado, has jumped out of planes 1,900 times in his four years of experience.

When Christopher Elder asked him to perform a skydiving stunt with him called "Mr. Bill," he jumped at the chance.

"One of my favorite things to do is take new students out to do stuff," Palmer said. "Mr. Bill's, though historically I'm very successful at them, this one didn't go so well."

Elder and Palmer started rehearsing the stunt before they hopped in the plane because they wanted to make sure they knew what was going to happen.

"Once you step out of the plane, up in the air, you can't hear each other really. If you haven't rehearsed something, it's probably not going to happen," Elder said.

While the two were in the air performing the stunt, Elder relaxed his arms a little too soon and was jolted off of Palmer. As Elder let go of Palmer, he accidentally, and unknowingly, knocked Palmer's left shoe off.

"I realized as he came off of me that I was missing a shoe and I started looking for it immediately. I could just see it coming underneath his right side. At that point I had a decision to make: go hang out with him and fly a canopy or catch a shoe that I had borrowed from another skydiver. They weren’t even my shoes," Palmer said. "I chose the latter. All of the days playing video games as a kid definitely paid off."

Palmer had to find the right turn and decent rate in order to make sure he was going to successfully get the shoe back.

"I looked up and I was waiting for Shelby [Palmer] to come join me, and instead Shelby [Palmer] was erratically flying around the sky," Elder said. "I had no idea what he was doing until I got to the ground."

In the video , the shoe can be seen flying past Palmer several times. He managed to kick the shoe once, and then it hit him in the chest. Palmer caught the shoe in midair, put it back on his foot and made his way back to the ground.

Palmer and Elder both made it back to the ground safely.

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