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The jumpers' first strategy was to invade the building during business hours, make their way to the roof and hide out there for a jump at dawn, when the streets would be empty and the weather calm. But heavy winds canceled that tactic.
They decided it would be better to go in after 5 p.m., when there was less chance of being spotted.
That required obtaining a security code to get into the building. The employees they approached one day at quitting time didn't seem interested in helping them out, but they finally hit pay dirt when they found someone who would reveal his code for $100.
Getting through the doors didn't entirely solve their problem, though. The elevators appeared lifeless, and the jumpers were stuck on the ground floor until they spotted someone successfully take a lift to the fourteenth floor. After hours, it turned out, the elevators were programmed only to respond to a request to go to that level.
Two hours later, at 7 p.m. on August 11, 2001, three men leaped from the Kansas City Power & Light Building and floated to the street to the sounds of car horns and applause from people on a nearby hotel rooftop.
Two weeks later, another daredevil jumped the building by himself, walking in during business hours and camping on the roof until dark. The four leaps became the first recorded BASE building jumps in Kansas City.
Tyler and his friends have contemplated jumping from many other places in town. There are hundreds of jumpable objects within 50 miles of downtown -- radio towers, smokestacks and buildings. Part of the lure of the sport is the planning and scheming, the Mission: Impossible thrill of studying possible jump sites.
The three jumpers who sit down with a reporter at Skies restaurant admit that the structure they'd most like to leap from is the one they're sitting in.
Tyler calls the Hyatt "the crown jewel of building jumps in Kansas City." And the way Skies hangs over the edge of the building would make it the safest jump in town. "The amount of laps I've done in and out of that building is insane," Tyler says, referring to months of reconnaissance.
Each time, he and his friends stop to have a drink or four. Tyler believes buying drinks could be important if he actually jumps someday and is arrested. "That makes you a patron of that facility," he says. "There is no way they could get us on any kind of trespassing."
The three finish their beers and eye the glowing exit sign they suspect leads to a fire escape and, they hope, to the roof.
They walk purposefully through the door, and it bangs shut, leaving them in a brightly lit concrete hallway. But the only stairs lead down, not up. The three men return to the restaurant, ready with an excuse in case they are questioned: They were just looking for the stairs, an honest mistake.
But no one asks.
Kansas City BASE jumpers are always on the lookout for the next conquest, and few objects taller than 200 feet have escaped their attention.
Using a laser, they've measured the height of an Overland Park hotel they hope to jump, calling it "marginal" at about 185 feet. They've scouted landing zones for what is commonly called the Beirut Building, a gutted concrete edifice on the north side of downtown. And one of them has climbed a radio tower on Kansas City's Signal Hill.