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Skydiver, 81, Cheats Death in Mid-Air

05/29/2012 AT 04:00 PM EDT



When Laverne Everett turned 80, she set out on an adventure many years in the making – skydiving.

Only she nearly didn't get the chance to cross it off her bucket list.

Her tandem jump, which was filmed by a fellow skydiver, went awry soon after she left the plane as her harness slipped off her shoulder. Within moments, Everett was hanging from her knees below the instructor.



Though she knew something was amiss, "I didn't know how bad it was," Everett said on Tuesday's Today show.

And even more shocking than what happened in mid-air?

"It didn't really scare me," she told a shocked Matt Lauer, adding that her dangerous landing only resulted in a scraped knee and a few bruises. (The FAA is looking into the incident.)

"He was telling me to hang on," she says about her instructor, though neither one screamed during the ordeal.

A year later, the video of her frightening jump has gone viral – 500,000 people had seen it as of Tuesday morning – and the brave 81-year-old was more moved by the attention than by the jump itself. Now she says, "I'm in shock."

Next up for this lucky daredevil? She's considering a ride in a race car and scoffed at Lauer's suggestion for a safer hobby. Said Everett: "Knitting is boring."

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