TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The picture-perfect weather on Wednesday made for an excellent day for WFLA’s own meteorologist Julie Phillips to jump out of a perfectly good airplane!
Julie was selected to do a tandem jump with the United States Special Operations Command Parachute Team, also known as The Para-Commandos. She joined Acting Team Leader Cris Fucci at their facility in Zephyrhills, Florida.
There was a quick review of how the experience would go and they went over all of the safety protocol before Julie was able to suit up in her VIP jumpsuit.
“We boarded a small plane and climbed to over 13,000 feet before they opened the door to the plane,” she said. “I really didn’t have time to get nervous, before I knew it I was crouching on the side of the plane and in the air.”
The free fall lasted one minute at 120 mph, although Julie thought it felt more like 10 seconds. The sensation she described to be more like flying, than falling with it being quite loud. After the fall, the parachute was pulled and they glided to the ground in about 4 minutes. Fucci made sure they had a safe, painless landing at the drop zone.
“I’m so thankful for the opportunity to have my first jump be with the Para-Commandos,” Julie said. “They are a wonderful addition to the Tampa Bay community and do so much for the community and our armed forces.”