Chutist Leaps From Bridge, Cruises Safely Away In N.y.

Posted: March 16, 1987

NEW YORK — A boredom-prone skydiver who missed landing atop the World Trade Center in a jump from 15,000 feet last month had no trouble hitting the Hudson River yesterday after he did a backflip off the George Washington Bridge.

"It beats eating quiche with the yuppies," said former Green Beret John Carta, 41, who jumps for "excitement" when he gets bored.

Carta, wearing a wet suit and a parachute, was driven onto the upper deck of the bridge from the New Jersey side about 8:15 a.m. When the car stopped at midspan, he ran to the south pedestrian walk. He turned to wave at his quickly departing pals and backflipped into space.

A few seconds later - at 50 feet above the Hudson - he opened a one-of-a- kind low-level chute he said he had designed and made.

It worked; he didn't break his neck. A waiting speedboat zipped him to the 74th Street yacht basin, where he disappeared in a getaway car.

The drama was over before Port Authority and harbor police, alerted by motorists, could get a boat into the river.

A Port Authority spokesman said the bistate agency "frowned" on people jumping from its bridges. He reminded Carta that parachuting from bridges is against the law and said the authority will press charges if it locates him - on the ground or in the air.

On Feb. 18, Carta, a helicopter pilot from California, narrowly missed the top of the World Trade Center and floated to a safe landing in a vacant lot. He was more successful in 1982 when he landed on the top of the No. 2 tower after a 10,000-foot dive. In 1983, he made a 16,000-foot jump onto the Brooklyn tower of the Verrazano Bridge and then took out another chute and jumped 690 feet into the Narrows.

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