REEDSVILLE, Mifflin County — Scott Snyder just wanted to be close to his dad one more time.
For a man who said he doesn’t like roller coasters or even swings, Snyder mustered up his courage and hopped out of an airplane in a tandem skydive that consisted of 35 seconds of free fall and a five-minute parachute ride to the ground.
Snyder, of York, said he felt it was a fitting tribute to his father, Chris Brown, who died in a skydiving accident last month. The State College resident was 52 years old.
“It was important with the healing process,” Snyder said of the jump, adding that it provided a feeling of closure for him.
More than 30 of Brown’s family members and friends crowded Mifflin County Airport to watch Snyder, Brown’s daughter Ryan Moore and his brother Curt Brown all pay tribute to their late relative. All three were first-time skydivers.
Chris Brown, an avid skydiver, had taken a side job at Skydive Happy Valley, working there for two years and performing more than 80 jumps before his emergency parachute failed last month.
Despite performing the same activity that resulted in the death of their father and brother, the trio felt it was the best way to honor his memory.
Curt Brown, of Northumberland, who had never been in an airplane prior to Saturday’s jump, said the act brought personal satisfaction to him even if outsiders didn’t understand his reason for participating.
“If they don’t understand why I’m doing it already then I can’t explain it to them,” he said.
Moore said her mind was racing waiting to jump but where she felt it most was in her stomach. But she said it’s something she had to do for her father.
“This is for him and his memory and his love of this sport,” she said.
Moore, of Greensburg, added that she wishes her dad were around so she could do the tandem jump with him.
Chris Brown’s widow, Kathy Brown, did not participate in the jump, but she applauded the efforts of the people who did, saying her late husband would be “thrilled” and he “deserved this.”
“He would love to see this happening,” she said. “That was his passion.”
Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter@MetroMattMorgan.