Follow History in the Making as Former Special Operators Attempt to Skydive 7 Continents in 7 Days

Three members of the Triple 7 Expedition skydiving
Glenn Cowan

After all the planning and training, the Triple 7 Expedition is here.

Now it’s time to follow the team of nine former special operators as they attempt to break two world records by completing seven skydives on seven continents in seven days. They’re doing it to help Folds of Honor provide 1,400 life-changing scholarships to the children and spouses of our fallen and severely disabled service members and first responders. You can help the families of these courageous men and women get the educations they deserve; 100% of your gift goes to Folds of Honor and is tax-deductible.

Check back here for the latest on the team’s progress, including how many hours they have left to break the record, what’s happening during each jump, and even the weather conditions they can expect, thanks to Legacy Expedition Forecasters Noah Lorette and Collin Belanger.

Two skydivers falling
Courtesy Image

83 HOURS REMAINING

Saturday, January 14, 2023
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Jump 6

How do you follow up a skydive over the seventh wonder of the ancient world?

While it sounds impossible, that’s exactly what the Triple 7 team did when they glided into the drop zone in Abu Dhabi. More on that below.

The team left Egypt on Friday at 7:40 p.m. (local time), had a two-and-a-half-hour layover in Qatar, and arrived in Abu Dhabi on Saturday at 4:20 a.m. From there, it was off to check out the drop zone, then to Abu Dhabi Skydive for a prompt 8:00 a.m. start.

Before boarding the aircraft and heading toward the heavens, retired Navy SEAL Mike ‘Boots’ Barker led the team in remembering fellow SEAL, Master Chief Petty Officer Louis Langlais, who lost his life in 2011 while serving in Afghanistan. “Lou had it all; he was an operator that I respected and a pro at everything he did,” said Barker. “He brought up the people around him and made them better. He made the team and everyone better. We lost a lot [of guys] that day, but he was certainly the best of what we put out there as a community,” he added.

Like the five prior jumps, Abu Dhabi went as planned, which is what you’d expect from professionals at this level.

Once back on the ground, retired Navy SEAL Mike Sarraille gathered the team to tell them they’d just shattered a world record they weren’t even chasing. The record for the fastest time completing a skydive on six continents was set back in 2008 by Martin Downs. For 15 years, Downs’ record of eight days and seven hours stood firm—until the Triple 7 team did it in four days and thirteen hours.

Cake to celebrate Abu Dhabi skydive
Courtesy Image

How did a team of former special operators, the best of the best, celebrate? With cake, of coursez—after all, they are human.

Are you in Tampa, Florida? Then celebrate the team’s triumphant return home on Wednesday, January 18, at Triple 7: Mission Complete. Learn more and register now.

Winds will be picking up in Perth for the final jump. Morning will start with winds out of the south at 10G/15KT before 0900L, then consistently picking up until the wind peaks at 1300L of 15G/32KT. Expect the high winds to remain until after sunset. Expect a few low clouds in the morning between 1,500 and 3,000 feet.

Skydivers in air and on land in front of pyramid
Courtesy Image

93 HOURS REMAINING

Friday, January 13, 2023
Cairo, Egypt
Jump 5

The Pyramids of Giza are some of the world’s most iconic and recognizable structures. These massive stone tombs were built more than four millennia ago to honor three of ancient Egypt’s great pharaohs and ensure their safe passage to the afterlife.

When the single-engine aircraft carrying the Triple 7 team passed directly over the seventh wonder of the ancient world at 4:00 a.m. EST (11 a.m. local), the nine former special operators jumped from the side door for their fifth skydive, in as many days, on as many continents. Former Navy SEAL Mike Sarraille said, “We had about a 15,000-foot exit, so we had a lot of free fall time.” The experienced skydivers used that extra time for relative work, including a four-person star formation centered around the largest pyramid. If the free fall was fantastic, their time under canopy was extraordinary. “Some of the guys were about 200 feet from the tip of the pyramid,” said Sarraille.

The ancient Egyptians constructed the pyramids in honor of those they most revered; the Triple 7 Expedition is a modern tribute to the service and sacrifice of those we hold in the highest esteem. Although separated by thousands of years, both acts pay homage to the memory of those who have passed and ensure their legacy lives on for generations to come.

The team jumped into Africa to honor Senior Chief David Lee Hall, a U.S. Navy SEAL that passed away in 2020. As two team members folded the Allegiance flag that accompanied them on the jump, retired Navy SEAL Andy Stumpf pulled the team into a circle to honor Hall. “Dave was the SEAL I wanted to be…and he’s the bar that every other bar in my life is measured by,” said Stumpf. “I can’t tell you how much it means to me to be on this trip and how much all of you mean to me. Sharing these experiences, telling these stories, and making sure the names [of heroes like Dave] continue to move forward is very powerful,” he added.

After spending the day enjoying the area and jumping out of planes, the team returned to the airport for their 1:40 p.m. EST (7:40 p.m. local) flight to Abu Dhabi.

Weather Update: Noah and Collin report that on arrival in Abu Dhabi there will be northeasterly winds at 10 knots, gusts of up to 15 knots, with mostly sunny skies until 7 a.m. Between 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., partly to mostly cloudy skies are forecast at 7,000 feet which should not have any significant impacts. Otherwise, cloud coverage will thin at 7,500 feet between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. Our focus will be monitoring the cloud coverage for any discrepancies or changes as we near the jump window.


Men in plane preparing to skydive
Courtesy Image

103 HOURS REMAINING
Thursday, January 12, 2023
Barcelona, Spain
Jump 4

After nine hours in the air, the Triple 7 team put 4,688 miles between themselves and Miami. At 2:12 a.m. EST, the expedition landed in Barcelona, Spain. This city is known for its world-class architecture, incredible nightlife, and culinary charm—of which the nine former special operators will see none.

They made their way through customs; bags were inspected, and passports stamped. Aside from the natural curiosity a film crew attracts, everything went smoothly as they entered the country. They traveled an hour and fifteen minutes by bus to their fourth drop zone.

As they did their safety checks in the hangar, many on the team pulled out the pouches of Frog Fuel they packed for the rougher times. Four continents and still no hotel rooms, but the team is doing great, even at this extraordinary pace.

Standing beside a red and white Pilatus PC-6 Porter, the single-engine aircraft that would take them up, former Marine scout sniper Logan Stark said, “[We] have a super quick turnaround on this one; we just landed in Spain, and we’ve got about four hours before we [have] to be back at the airport [for our flight to Egypt].”

Retired U.S. Navy explosive ordnance disposal technician Nick Kush led the team in honoring Aviation Ordnanceman Petty Officer Second Class Marc Alan Lee, the first Navy SEAL to lose his life in Operation Iraqi Freedom. They reflected on his sacrifice and how he protected several teammates on August 2, 2006, by unleashing a barrage of machine gun fire on insurgents, pushing the enemy back, and providing his team time to find cover.

Moments later, the team piled into the aircraft and headed up. At 5:04 a.m. EST, they exited the side of the plane and fell through the air toward the blanket of gray clouds that spread endlessly in all directions. After pulling their chutes, all nine team members glided down until the drop zone appeared below. They landed in the large open field of grass beside the dirt runway.

Just like that, it was back on the bus. They arrived at the airport at 7:00 a.m., made their way through security, and took off at 11:02 a.m. for Cairo, Egypt.

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Weather Forecast: Noah and Collin report, “In Cairo, scattered, possibly broken clouds are forecast at 3,000 ft in the early morning hours. After 8 a.m., impacts are unlikely as cloud coverage will thin presenting predominantly partly cloudy skies at 5,000 ft until 1 p.m. After 1 p.m., mostly cloudy conditions will redevelop at 4,500 ft. Elevated southwesterly winds are forecast for Cairo at 10 gusting, 15 knots at the surface, and an average of 20 knots throughout the jump column. Will continue to monitor for any potential impacts.


121 HOURS REMAINING

Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Miami, Florida
Jump 3

As the team touched down at Miami International Airport at 5:10 a.m., they discovered that the Expedition had hit its first major obstacle. The FAA suspended all departing flights nationwide after a critical system that notifies pilots of potential hazards suffered a complete outage. American Airlines canceled their flight to Spain.

While George Silva, the expedition’s operations manager, worked on getting them to Barcelona, the team made the 1.5-hour drive to Skydive Spaceland Florida for their third jump.

After arriving, the team began doing routine safety checks. As they inspected their equipment, retired Navy SEAL Dr. Kirk Parsley, the expedition’s medical lead, took to Instagram. “Here we go, jump number three in Miami. The boys are getting their chutes ready… shits about to get western,” he said as team members prepared behind him.

Retired Navy SEAL Mike ‘Boots’ Barker took the lead on this jump as the entire team took a moment to honor Commander Robert Ramirez III. As with the other two jumps, they loaded into an airplane and headed to 13,000 feet. At 11:00 a.m., the team left the aircraft and enjoyed the feeling of flight during their freefall before each popped their parachutes and floated back to earth.

Once on the ground, retired Navy SEAL Mike Sarraille, the man responsible for the expedition, was happy to hear that Silva found a solution and they’d be leaving for Barcelona, Spain, at 5:00 p.m. tonight. While they overcame this first obstacle, the team knows they will face many more in the coming days.

Weather Forecast: Noah and Collin report, “Barcelona might see some early morning fog, expecting to dissipate by 1000L. Green conditions for the remainder of the day.”

The Triple 7 Expedition team takes a short break for a photo.
Coffee or Die

150.5 HOURS REMAINING

Tuesday, January 10, 2023
Santiago, Chile
Jump 2

The team landed in Chiei’s capital at 6:00 a.m. and immediately began the hour-long drive to Skydive Andes, the second drop zone.

Once they arrived, Black Rifle Coffee Company’s Jariko Denman, a retired U.S. Army Ranger, told the team, “So, we’re jumping for Sergeant First Class David McDowell… [who] wanted to be one thing: an awesome Ranger platoon sergeant. And the way [to do that] is to run at the sound of the guns….Whether we’re going to the sound of actual guns or we’re going to problems, that’s how we need to live our lives, and that’s what we’re all doing here; we’re identifying a problem and doing something high-risk to solve it….”

The propeller on the small yellow Cessna fired up at 8:10 a.m. and carried the first group of four high into the clouds.

At 12:16 p.m., after the jump, retired Tier-1 Special Operations Officer Glenn Cowan took to LinkedIn, posting, “South America is in the books. So far 2 continents in 20 hours. The pace is good. The Ventus Respiratory Technologies canopy opens and flies beautifully… We’re [going] to the airport to catch a flight to Miami and maybe squeeze in some sleep.”

Weather Forecast: Noah and Collin report, “No change to the forecast for Florida, conditions look great. Expect clear skies and calm winds out of the north.”


168 HOURS REMAINING

Monday, January 9, 2023
Union Glacier, Antarctica
Jump 1

There’s no better way to kick off an epic race against the clock than skydiving over Union Glacier, Antarctica.

At 12:30 p.m. EST, the Triple 7 team officially began chasing two world records when they exited the airplane at 13,000 feet for the first of seven scheduled skydives that’ll take them across the world over the next seven days. This jump honored Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor, a Navy SEAL whose sacrifice saved three teammates – one of whom was Mike Sarraille, the expeditions co-founder.

During the jump, the team battled temperatures of negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit; to say they were thankful that Arc’teryx and Solman sponsored the expedition would be an understatement.

With increased media attention and an embedded film crew capturing their every move, the team of nine former special operators must focus on completing the next six jumps, one on each of the remaining continents. To achieve their goal, they must finish by Monday, January 16, at 12:30 p.m. EST.

After the jump, the team flew to Punta Arenas, Chile, where they caught a connecting flight to Santiago, the location of their next jump.

Weather Forecast: Noah and Collin report, “Santiago is looking green during the jump window. Expect scattered valley fog in the AO until 0900L. The valley fog will dissipate at that point, leaving you with clouds at 17,000ft and light winds out of the west at the surface.”

 

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