FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS) — Base jumpers from all over the world descend on Fayetteville on Saturday October 19, 2019, to fling themselves off the 876 foot New River Gorge.

After landing his first BASE jump at bridge day five years ago, Sean Dougherty, returned for his favorite day of the year.

“Once I get on the platform I tend to kind of relax and I get a calm that comes over me… almost like a peaceful feeling right before I jump,” said Dougherty.

Around 300 jumpers took the leap off the bridge in Fayetteville, WV. BASE jumpers have six hours to get as many jumps in as possible. 

There are four different ways jumpers can exit from the bridge — main platform, a swing off the platform, scissor lift… or if they’re brave enough, the catapult 

BASE jumper, Gregor Weeks, operated the contraption in the morning.

“When you’re in that chair it’s someone else pulling the thing for you so that’s one difference,” said Weeks. “Also you’re not immediately stable when you get launched, so you kind of feel that dead air and try to get a little stability before you deploy your parachute.”

Once in the air jumpers have approximately six seconds to deploy their parachute – and aim for the landing area.

That’s where we met John Levan and Dan Lesh from Cleveland, OH. after they landed their very first base jump.

“It was awesome,” said Lesh.

“I feel amazing,” said Levan. “The most fun you can have with your clothes on, I’ll tell you that.”

Many first time jumpers might chose to land in the water for safety. Due to drier conditions, the landing area was larger than last year — making for a lot less water landings

After landing jumpers head to the packing area where they can pack their own parachute or pay a professional to do it for them. Once their parachute is packed they jump on the bus and head back to the top to do it all again.

“You lose all fear and the anxiety leading up to it is all worth it once you start flying,” Dougherty said.