DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — This week marks the 100th anniversary of the first time a free fall parachute saved someone in an emergency fall.

Lt. Harold Harris was the first to execute an emergency fall using a free fall parachute, less than two decades after the Wright brothers taught the world how to fly.

Lt. Harold Harris

In 1919 the parachute was tested and proven to work, but it wasn’t until Oct. 20, 1922, when it was proven in flight during an actual emergency.

Lt. Harold Harris, an army test pilot stationed at McCook field, found himself 2,500 feet in the air when a wing structurally failed forcing him to eject from the plane using a free-fall ripcord operated parachute.

Despite the gravity of the situation, Lt. Harris did survive that historic plunge with some minor bumps and bruises, landing in the backyard of a home on Troy Street, not far from where Dayton children’s hospital stands today.