By Chris Wilson
Jim Neumann, who has jumped at least once monthly for over 27 years, explained skydiving to CyberSports by saying, "After leaving the aircraft at 10,000 feet, face to earth, you will accelerate to 120 miles per hour in only a few seconds. Loops and turns are performed during the 40 seconds of freefall.
"At 4,000 feet the parachute is opened. The winds of freefall will depart leaving a calm breeze and the relaxing four minute ride back to earth.
"The exhilaration you receive from each jump can’t be compared with anything else you have ever experienced."
I will admit this might not be the best family-togetherness form of recreation. However, the kids might come with you and ride in the plane. Some places allow this; others do not. Some skydiving spots have other recreation that is suitable for the entire family. You will have to check this out in your area. Once they are 18, they can jump. However, you will have to judge if you want your teen-ager to do this and if your teen-ager really wants to do it. Certainly skydiving is not for everyone. And there are serious dangers involved that definitely make it unsuitable for the teen-ager who might ignore safety rules. Give it careful thought, of course, in advance.
After training, students make jump with automatic parachute opening. Sometimes called "skydiving on a budget." A total of five jumps required before progressing to freefall.
Although some students start with a static-line jump, most students start with a tandem jump. Some companies require at least one tandem jump before freefall jumps.
After a short training course on the ground, the instructor and the student board the aircraft, climb to 10,000 feet, leave the aircraft to stand on a step over the wheel, then enter the freefall of a tandem jump.
The instructor wears the parachute assembly and the student is attached to the parachute in 4 spots by a harness. The student’s back is against the instructor’s chest.
After a 40 second freefall, the instructor opens the over-sized, square parachute and the student starts maneuvering the parachute back to earth. All students participate in the dive as much or as little as they wish.
The landing is stand-up in a soft, grassy field.
After one or more tandem jumps, the student receives approximately eight hours of ground training and then jumps with two instructors holding on to him/her.
The AFF Course consists of a minimum of seven jumps. The student progresses from two to one to no instructors while learning back loops, turns, and tracking. Each jump is more complex than the previous one.
After receiving a logbook certifying completion of the course, the student is ready for large freefall formations, camera jumps, competition jumps, and general exploration of this exciting sport.
If you are ready to jump into skydiving, be aware of the following:
USPA Certified Instructors are trained and certified by US Parachute Association and follow safety rules put forth by USPA.
If you still have a slight twinge of fear about jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, remember this: you are far more likely to be killed in an automobile wreck than a skydiving accident. Most of the people who have been killed while sky diving have violated some safety rule.
Besides,if Jim Neumann is still alive after more than 27 years of skydiving, you should be good for a few jumps. But consult your doctor and all that stuff…
Skydiving, the ultimate thrill, is not for the faint of heart or weak of pocketbook.
Static line jumps range from $100 to $160 for your first jump, about $55-$75 for each successive jump. This price can vary by area, of course.
Tandem jumps are $130 to $180, unless you want a video to prove to the folks back home that you really did this. Videos go for an extra $50 to $75.
Your first accelerated freefall jump is $250 to $300, but successive jumps range from $125 to $175.
Most companies will let you ride in the plane for $10 to $20. No, you do not get to push anyone out.
Cost of Depends is extra, of course, and you must bring your own!
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