So.. you want the WHOLE story! Well.. here it is, with pics to boot!
8 years ago my girlfriend and I got pregnant at the same time. Our kids, as a matter of fact, were born just five days apart. During our pregnancy we made a pact. Once these kids were born.. we were jumping out of an airplane!
Shortly after the kids were born we hooked up with a group of people and drove to Great Lakes Skydiving. We took a class, and did our first static line jump that day! It was actually a little scary. The day before a professional skydiver was jumping and taking some risky chances.. well, on one of his jumps, his reserve chute opened at the same time he opened his regular chute. The two got tangled, and he went plumeting to the ground. He lived.. but there was a TV crew there that day covering the story! It gave us something to think about!
When you jump for the first time, you have a choice of a static line jump, or a tandum jump. Tandum is where you are strapped to a jumpmaster and you go together. On a static line jump you have to crawl out under the wing of the plane, hang off some handles, then let go. (See pictures below!)
Notice the little step above the wheel. You put your feet there, and then reach out and grab the shaft attached to the wing. Then you scoot over to the handles!
After learning all the do's and don't we suited up for our jump!
She looks a little nervous.. doesn't she??? LOL!
Your rip cord is tied to the plane and after falling for 200 feet to clear the airplane, your chute is released for you. While you do not get much free falling in, on a static line jump you are in control of the chute on the way down. You can float where you want to, go as fast as you want to, and land all by yourself! The ride down is so beautiful! Nothing compares, you just have to be there.
Here we are coming in for a landing, and both on the ground below!
And here we are with certificate in hand! =)
What a day! I went back one more time to Great Lakes. Took my daughter and niece to watch me jump. For my third jump I went just outside of Chicago. This time I went tandum. You can jump from a higher elevation in Illinois, which means more time to free fall. So, one weekend while we were there for a meeting my boss and I took off and went jumping! She's a nut. Took right to it, and by this time was very close to having her own license.
Me, I just wanted to free fall, and figured out of state was the place to do it! The jumpmaster I went down with was a RIOT! We flipped head first out of the plane, did a few front rolls, he stopped us mid stream and pointed out the plane, then dove backwards for a few back rolls. Breathing is a trip! You might as well forget about it flipping and flopping through the air like that. But WHAT A RUSH! Definately the most thrilling experience I have ever had in my life!
Granted.. crawling out on the wing of the plane is thrilling. But everything is over with so quick, you are more scared shitless, than enjoying the thrill! If your looking for the speed rush, tandum is the way to go. And not in Michigan!
I haven't jumped in a few years. The next step is learning how to pack your own chute. I haven't made up my mind if I am ready for THAT yet! ROF!
Well, that's my skydiving story! Thanks for stopping by! While your here, take the time to sign my guestbook and tell me what you think!
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