"What If Our Parachute Doesn't Open?"
Version United States
Season Season 3
Episode Number 1/11 (025)
First Broadcast October 2, 2002
Viewership (in millions) 9.50[1]
Ratings/Share (18-49) 3.9/10
Episode Chronology
Previous "Follow That Plane!"
(previous season)
Next "This Seems Like the Path Straight to Hell!"

What If Our Parachute Doesn't Open? is the season premiere of The Amazing Race 3.


In the premiere episode, 12 diverse teams of two set off on the first leg of the Race starting in the remote Florida Everglades and quickly make their way to the crowded streets of Mexico City. One team teams begs for money at an airport, and tensions escalate quickly when another team leaves their belongings in a taxi. Some embrace the thrill of skydiving, while one team must overcome an extreme fear of heights to stay in the Race. Several twists occur as teams confront major obstacles on the way to the Pit Stop.[2]


Route Markers

Teams must fly to Mexico City, Mexico and find the Angel of Independence statue. There are only two flights for the teams. Flight 1 is American Airlines and can only accommodate 7 teams. Flight 2 is Aero Mexico and accommodates 5 teams, leaving fifty minutes after Flight 1.

Using only a photo for reference, teams must find a man named Pablo, who is near Zócalo.

After finding Pablo, team must make their way to the Hotel de Cortes and sign up for one of three charter buses to Aerodromo Tequesquitengo in the morning. Buses can only carry 4 teams at a time and depart two hours apart.

The Fast Forward instructions were given to them after receiving their clue at Zócalo.

Teams will have to go to Plaza Santo Domingo and find a typewriter shop. There one of the shopkeepers will have a special message for them, the Fast Forward pass. Ken & Gerard won the Fast Forward.

Choice A: Wings
Team must take a plane that will bring them to an altitude of 10,000 ft. Once at that height, teams must tandem jump with an instructor. Once they've made it to the ground, they may receive their next clue.

Aaron & Arianne, Derek & Drew, Flo & Zach, Gina & Sylvia, Heather & Eve, John Vito & Jill, and Tramel & Talicia chose this task.

Choice B: Wheels
Teams must take a donkey cart and using a map provided direct their driver, who speaks little to no English to the next clue marker.

Andre & Damon, Dennis & Andrew, Michael & Kathy, and Teri & Ian chose this task.

Teams must drive themselves to the Hacienda San Gabriel de las Palmas to check in.

For coming in first place, Ken & Gerard won a seven night Caribbean vacation on Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas cruise ship.


     First Place •      Eliminated     Last placer in Non-Elimination Leg     Saved from elimination by the Salvage Pass or The Save     Season winner •      Season 2nd place •      Season 3rd place • Used the Fast Forward

 1st place 
Ken & Gerard
 2nd place 
Flo & Zach
 3rd place 
Aaron & Arianne
Lifelong friends
 4th place 
Michael & Kathy
Long-distance Dating
TAR3-John Vito-Jill
 5th place 
John Vito & Jill
 6th place 
Heather & Eve
Law school roommates
 7th place 
Andre & Damon
Cop and fireman
 8th place 
Dennis & Andrew
 9th place 
Teri & Ian
Married parents
 10th place 
Tramel & Talicia
 11th place 
Derek & Drew
Gina & Sylvia
Soccer moms


  • This episode marks the first time the country of Mexico is visited.
    • Thus, It also marks the first time a North American country outside of the United States is visited.
  • This episode's title was said by Eve, who was worried about skydiving.
  • First and only US season to have its premiere air in the month of October.



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