Former teacher tackles fear head first in student’s memory

Photo submitted to the Times Observer Mr. Scheiwer as he approaches the aircraft behind one of the tandem instructors.

The Thursday, July 12 edition of the Times Observer featured a story about William Scheiwer of Canonsburg, Pa. Scheiwer had plans to celebrate his eighty-fifth year with a memorial sky jump in honor of a former student who died in a tragic skydiving accident nearly 60 years ago.

On Thursday, July 12, one week after the story ran, Mr. Scheiwer followed through.

“9 of us got on board a King Air plane plus the pilot. There were 3 singles, and three tandems.” Scheiwer said.

He reminisced about his time at the New London Submarine School during his training for the US Navy.

“I had a familiar feeling when I was waiting in line for my turn to jump. In the Navy, they prepared us for deep water by having us enter the bottom of a 100-foot silo of water and make our way to the top. Scary at first, but then it’s kind of fun.”

Photo submitted to Times Observer William Scheiwer of Canonsburg, Pa returned to Warren last Friday the day after following through with his plans to jump out of an airplane to honor the memory of a former student from Eisenhower (Northern Area) High School.

It’s clear that Mr. Scheiwer had no hesitation about whether or not he would make the jump. His description of the experience could make one reconsider for themselves.

“After we jumped, during the freefall, there’s this rumbling sound and the faint sound of the airplane fading away.” Scheiwer said. “When the chute opens…silence.”

Not unlike most new physical experiences, this one comes with a physical toll.

“I felt a tremendous grab around the rib cage.” Scheiwer said, ” When I woke up the next morning, boy was I sore!”

That’s about the most negative thing he had to say about his adventure. It’s hard not to imagine him going for a second jump.

Photo submitted to the Times Observer Another freefall shot of Mr. Scheiwer and the tandem instructor.

“It’s a feeling you can’t explain.”

Photo submitted to the Times Observer Safe landing. Bill Scheiwer, left, poses for a photo with his tandem instructor.