Local skydiver headed to the hall of fame

Bill Morrissey to be inducted in October
Posted at 11:27 PM, Aug 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-22 23:27:26-04

"We have our strap here to securely keep him in, he cannot fall out of this thing," said Bill Morrissey strapping in a jumper.

If Morrissey is the one strapping you in for a Tandem sky dive jump, you probably don't have much to worry about. The 78 year old has made over 1500 jumps and counting. Not to mention he's known as the "Father" of the Tandem technique.

"We had a lot of pieces are parts that failed," said Morrissey with a smile.

The former Army Paratrooper admits he and his partner Ted Strong weren't quite sure what they were doing at the time.

Back in the 70's, instructors taught their students everything they could on the ground but once they went out the flight doors, they were on their own.

But both Morissey and Strong shared a vision for something safer.  

"He got terribly excited about the possibility of putting a student in a harness with a skydiving instructor," said Morrissey.

After developing a special harness, the two took their first flight.

"We went out of that airplane at 14 thousand feet and all I knew, I said to myself, I've never gone this fast before," said Morrissey. "It scared him and I know I was scared."

Morrissey and Strong perfected the technique using a larger parachute to increase drag and a duel passenger system that is still in use today.

It's credited with saving hundreds of lives while also helping to skyrocket the sports popularity.

"That way we could take people rather that sit around a talk about it and tell you a story, we don't have to tell you a story, come with me," said Morrissey.

Thousands did just that and that earned him a place along side Strong in the Sky Diving Hall of fame.