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Paraplegic skydiver meets goal in Dandridge

10:41 PM, Oct 14, 2012   |    comments
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Patrick Nichols can now skydive solo.

A paraplegic man skydived to reach a goal in Dandridge Sunday.

Patrick Nichols, of Asheville, North Carolina, became one of only a handful of paraplegics certified to skydive solo at a drop zone in Dandridge.

Nichols lost use of his legs after a 2005 motorcycle accident.

The 31 year-old had a passion for the air prior to the wreck.

Sunday, Nichols graduated from the Accelerated Free Fall Program for students at Skydive East Tennessee in Jefferson County.

He can now work towards a license to skydive solo in all drop zones nationwide.

"Me being a vet, there's a lot of guys coming back from the war who could benefit from this.  The way we see it, you can be a couch sitter and pout around.  That's fine if you want to pout.  But, if you want to skydive and have a good time, we're figuring it out.  So, lets go!," Nichols said.

The Asheville native served in the Coast Guard.  He currently works for the North Carolina Forest Service.

His next goal is to become a pilot.

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