Monday, June 19, 2006

Jumping with a parachute

I was watching "Rocky & Drago" documentary today on TV6. One of the missions the 2 actors got was a tandem jump with a parachute from 4000 meters height.

I did a tandem jump for 1 year ago so I want to share my experience of skydiving :)
Many people think that they are going to be afraid of the height, specially in the moment when they jump out. This is partially true, but shouldn't bother 97% of the people. Here is what happens: When you jumped out of the plane, you can see that the ground is very far away and it's going to get a loooong while to get there. This is rather calming. And actually you do not notice that you move towards the ground because the height is too high to be able to estimate the distance to the ground and speed of the fall. So you will not see a big difference if you are at 4000 meters or at 1000 meters. At 800-1000 meters you can begin suspecting that you are getting closer to the ground. At this moment the parachute opens. You understand that you are still falling, but now you can estimate the speed of the fall and you see that the speed is not dangerous.

The only thing I worried about was that I totally depended on the instructor who was strapped with me on my back. I mean maybe he was very upset over something today and decided to take his last jump. The other thing I worried about was that when the parachute opens, the sudden pull upwards can cause the strapping between me and instructor to burst. But nothing of this happened, otherwise you won't read this post :)

BUT.. I have a warning to you: if your ears hurt when you fly airplane (because of air pressure changes), consult with the instructor before deciding to jump, and get ear-plugs. I got a terrible ear-ache during the jump, which ruined this fantastic experience. I guess in some cases it can lead to serious injuries.
You can also get a slight head ache because of the turbulence.

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