Hoffman Estates teacher plans epic eclipse skydiving adventure: 'I've been talking about this forever'

A teacher from Hoffman Estates has an unconventional plan to observe the upcoming solar eclipse: by skydiving. 

Scheduled for this Monday, he will embark on his 600th jump, soaring through the skies near Dallas, Texas, for this remarkable celestial event.

Hoffman Estates High School teacher Tyler Michie says he intends to execute a "high pull" when he skydives, ensuring precise timing to maximize his eclipse-viewing experience. With totality expected to last approximately three minutes in Texas, Michie plans to deploy his parachute immediately after reaching an altitude of 13,000 to 14,000 feet. This strategy allows him nearly 10 minutes under the canopy, offering a unique vantage point to witness the eclipse and the moon's expansive shadow racing across the sky at 1,600 miles per hour.

"The entire reason I'm doing this is so that I can not only see the eclipse above me but also witness the 100-mile-wide shadow of the moon literally approach me at 1600 miles an hour, envelop me in the air and then continue onwards north of me, which I think is just gonna be one of the most amazing experiences of my life," said Michie.

Accompanied by his brother, Michie ensures that their adventurous endeavor will be well-documented, with cameras capturing every thrilling moment that he hopes to share with his students. 

"I've been talking about this forever, and I started skydiving about four years ago, so I realized that this would be a possibility," said Michie. "I saw the 2017 eclipse from the ground in Kentucky, it was unbelievable, but now I'm skydiving, I'm like this might be a possibility, so it's been something that I've been looking forward to, and they've [students] been aware of for a while, so I'm really hoping I can come back to school next week with some videos and pictures for them."

While acknowledging the risk of cloudy weather, Michie remains undeterred, eagerly anticipating the shared experience of witnessing the eclipse alongside fellow enthusiasts.