Strapped into the glider, I looked down over the edge and felt my stomach clench. We'd done test flights all week long, but never from such a height! The Roanoke Sound glittered far below.
The view was beautiful, but it was time for me to go. I stepped back, closed my eyes and began the countdown: 3, 2, 1! With a wild running leap, I launched myself over the edge.
For an instant, my glider held marvelously - I was flying! But, the moment didn't last. One side of my harness tore free with an awful rip. The glider tilted wildly. I was going down!
In near free fall and flat-line loops, I plummeted toward the water. Did I scream? Looking back, it's hard to know. The whole drop was a blur of adrenaline and panic. All tangled up with the broken glider, I finally hit the Sound with an enormous splash!
Exhilarated by what I'd just experienced, I laughed and smacked the water's surface. It wasn't the flight I'd planned for, but I couldn't wait to tell my friends.