According to Gregory Robertson, this day in 1987 was just another day of skydiving.

He’s selling himself short: it was the day he saved a fellow skydiver’s life with a high-speed free fall.

Robertson was taking part in an annual gathering of skydivers near Phoenix, Arizona.

The plan was that he and five other divers would leap out of a DC-3 at over 13,000 feet.

Then they would grab hands and make a formation in air.

But at about 9,000 feet, two of the skydivers collided – hard.

One of them, Guy Fitzwater, was hurt but still able to pull his own ripcord.

The other, Diane Williams, was unconscious and she was spinning out of control toward the ground.

Robertson was a trained safety instructor for the U.S. Parachute Association.

He had been in charge of getting everyone safely off the plane and into the air.

So he realized that he was going to have to get her parachute open.

But first he had to catch up to her.

He pulled his arms and legs closely in to his body to cut down on air friction and increase his speed to nearly 200 miles per hour for more than a mile.

Finally, at about 3,500 feet, he caught up to Williams, got her into a sitting position and pulled the ripcord.

He got to her in the nick of time.

Less than 10 seconds later, Wiliams was on the ground.

She had broken ribs and other internal injuries, but she was alive.

Robertson pulled his own ripcord right after helping Williams.

Then, after he landed safety and saw that she was being cared for on her way to the hospital, he said “I put my rig back on and got on the airplane and went up to work again.”

Today in 1775, Paul Revere made his famous midnight ride to warn colonial militias about the approach of the king’s troops before the battles of Lexington and Concord.

Years later, Massachusetts historians were studying an expense report Revere sent to the local authorities.

He charged five shillings a day quote “for self and horse.”

They ended up paying him four.

Man rescues fellow skydiver seconds before impact (UPI)

Revere’s expense account revealed (Bangor Daily News via Google News Archive)

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