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I'm Guy Manos, Fly Me: Piggyback Skydiving Is Giving Neo-Flytes a Lift

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If you wanted to skydive, “you used to have to train all day, take all the risks, make all the decisions,” observes Guy Manos, 25. Now Manos, a professional skydiver, will do most of the work for you. Since the advent of the tandem parachute in 1983 Manos has made more than 200 piggyback jumps. For the passenger, he says, “it’s like going for a ride in a car, without knowing how to drive.”

Debbie Glenn, Manos’ passenger at left (leaving a Cessna 5,000 feet over Miami), is only 20, but passengers as old as 80 have piggybacked. Another chutist was a young man with muscular dystrophy. “The only problem,” says Manos, who now charges $95 per flight, “was he weighed about 200 pounds. Two of my friends literally picked us up and threw us out the door. Then we had two guys catch him.” A colleague of Manos has piggybacked a blind man. “They flew him through a cloud,” says Manos. “He said he could feel it.” So sure is Manos of the sport’s safety that he has taken each of his parents for a dive. Guy says he was sure his mom, Vivian, 56, would be very nervous about free-falling, so he released the parachute early. Complained Mrs. Manos, “Why did you open it so soon?”