Newest Review: ... we would jump from. He put a harness on me and showed me the clips which would attach us to each other. He then put his own harness on. N... more
My Amazing Day Sky Diving
Skydiving In General
Member Name: MollyWH
Skydiving In General
Advantages: A very exhilarating experience
Disadvantages: An expensive experience
I was bought a skydive for my 18th birthday, nearly 10 years ago, although I didn't actually do the skydive until a year later. The total cost of the skydive was £120. As I have had no experience of skydiving before, the only option I had, was to do a tandem, skydive, where I am strapped to a trainer who knows what they are doing. I could have taken part on a course to train me to skydive myself although this would have cost in the region of £300.
I called to book a day for my skydive several times but due to the weather I was unable to do it for a while. I basically had to keep phoning on all the days I was available to do it until the weather felt friendly enough to let me do it.
So In April, 2003, when I had a day off, I called Headcorn Aerodrome Centre and asked if it was suitable for me to do it. It was a lovely clear day and I was told to make my way over as soon as possible. Unfortunately my friend and family had to work so I had to go over alone. Headcorn is in the middle of nowhere and after a little bit of trouble with directions, I managed to get there and park up.
I went into the main reception and handed in the little pack I had been given. The lad told me to take a seat in the café and help myself to complimentary tea or coffee. Shortly after I had settled down, I was approached by a man named Michael who introduced himself as an instructor. He told me that we would be going up in the plane with a few other people and we were just waiting for them to arrive. About 10 minutes later, six lads from the army arrived and we were taken to a shed type building. In this building we were shown a video, that detailed what we would be doing that day, it showed someone being prepared for their skydive, getting their equipment ready and then going up in the plane and finally doing the skydive.
Michael then took me to another small shed and explained that I was the only person there that day doing a tandem dive as the army lads were in training and were doing their first solo dive that day so they would be undertaking different training from me. Michael found me a very fetching bright green jumpsuit which he left me to get changed into. It was awful, made of lycra and not very flattering at all, especially as I had to put it on over the clothes I was already wearing! Michael left me alone in the shed to get into my jumpsuit. Once I was ready, he came back in and found me some gloves and also a helmet. He then explained exactly what would happen. We were going to get into a plane with the other six lads and fly to a height of 3, 000 feet which is where we would jump from. He put a harness on me and showed me the clips which would attach us to each other. He then put his own harness on. Now can the technical part... he explained what positions we would be in when we jumped, basically he would be sat inside the plane while I slowly edged my way outside with my hips pointing outwards as far as I could get them. He then explained the I had to tuck my feet underneath a step on the outside of the plane as this would then allow me to be in the perfect position for jumping from the plane. Michael made me feel very at ease as asked if I had any questions. I asked him to run through the jumping position one more time just to make sure I was 100% sure of what I was doing. Michael explained that once we had jumped from the plane, we would freefall for 1, 000 feet before opening the parachute. Once in freefall we would reach a speed of 120mph. He explained that once we opened the parachute he would pass me straps and I would be able to steer us from left to right. As we were nearly the ground, he explained that I would past the steering straps to him so he could guide up to a landing point. Once I was happy that I knew what I was doing, we then went through the landing process. Michael explained that all I had to do while landing was make sure I bought my legs up to my chest as he would take the impact while we were landing. He explained that we would land in a specific spot and once we were landed, I could then bring my feet down to the floor. Michael said that I needed to make sure I screamed and enjoyed myself; he kept mentioning the fact that I should scream which annoyed me slightly as I thought he kept saying this because I am a girl and he expected me to scream. Once we had been through all the training and I was confident I knew what I was meant to do, we made out way over to the plane.
On the way over to the plane, Michael explained that I could pay for a cameraman to go up with us and take photos. I had the option of having photos taken or having the whole jump filmed. I enquired about prices and the photos would have cost £150 and the film would have cost £280 so I gave both a miss as I thought this was very expensive.
We all climbed into the plane, in total there was myself, Michael, the six army lads and their trainer. It was a bit of a tight squeeze and we were cosy to say the least. As we started to fly up to 3, 000 feet, Michael went through the basics again and clips the straps together so we were then attached to each other and ready to jump. It was very noisy in the plane because of engine noise so we had to shout to hear one another. I basically had to sit on Michael's lap at this point because we were not attached to one another, I was strapped to the front of him, both of us facing the same way.
Once we reached 3, 000 feet, Michael explained that the army lads would be jumping first, leaving us until last so we could take our time. I began to get slightly nervous at the point... not because I am scared of heights or anything; more because I wanted to make sure I got the procedure correct. We watched al the army lads jumping which was a very good experience in itself. They were just sort of throwing themselves out of the plane. After the 6th lad had jumped, it was then my turn...
Michael explained again the position I needed to be in for when we jumped and we edged our way over to the door in the plane. I looked down and was amazed not to be feeling that nervous, in all honestly, when I looked down, nothing really looked that real, where everything was so small it almost looked like one of the kiddies play mates you can get. Michael sat in the edge of the doorway and I eased myself outside the plane, with my hips sticking outwards and tucked my feet underneath the step outside the plane. Michael told me I needed to stick my hips out more so I did my best. He then tapped my shoulder and shouted the on the count of three I was top push myself forward and we would jump. It's bizarre because you don't actually jump, you just kind of fall from the plane. Michael did the count down and we fell out of the plane. We kind of tumbled and rolled a few times and then we were both falling face down to the ground. My guts kind of lurched as we jumped from the plane (like when you go on a fast ride) but I was surprised to find that this feeling soon went. So there we were falling at 120mph, the ground coming towards us very quickly and I suddenly realised that I was having trouble breathing. I think it was where the air was coming at us at 120mph, I couldn't actually get any air into my lungs. At first I decided I was going to hold my breath and soon realised that this wasn't going to be possible, I tried again, and failed to get some air into my lungs. At this point, I panicked and started hitting Michael leg to get his attention (which I'm sure he didn't appreciate) I couldn't actually talk where I couldn't breath so just kept banging his legs with one hand and pointing at my throat with the other! He shouted in my ear, and told me to scream which to me at the time seemed like a crazy idea considering I couldn't even breathe. I thought what the hell, I going to die anyway and gave screaming a shot and to my surprise a loud scream came out and my breathing kicked in! This obviously filled me with great relief! A few moments later Michael shouted that he was going to release the parachute. He pulled a few straps and out came the parachute, we were pulled sharply upwards and then everything seemed to calm down. Up until then everything had been very noisy with the wind rushing past us but once the parachute was out, everything went very peaceful. Michael started pointing out building around us and even pointed out a zoo where we could see the animals wandering around; this was really good for me as I'm a massive animal lover. Michael passed me the straps and explained me how to steer, we went left, then right and then did a full circle. I really was amazed at how peaceful everything was, we could hear each other very clearly and the feeling of being weightless was lovely. We drifted slowly towards the ground and a few moments later Michael asked me to pass him the steering straps. He explained where we would be landing and pointed at a gravel patch down below and explained that that was where we were heading. As we got nearer the ground Michael quickly an through the landing position and told me that he would give me a countdown for when we were landing and that on the count of three, I should bring my legs up to my chest. One the count f three, up came my leg and down to the ground we went, there was a slight bump as Michael's legs landed in the pit and a few moments later, I brought my own legs down. Michael unattached us from one another and asked how I felt, I said that I was shaking with the adrenalin and that it was a wonderful experience. I explained that I had banged his leg shortly after we jumped because I couldn't breathe and he explained that many people hold their breath without realising when they jump and that is why he had kept telling me to scream (I felt slightly silly at this point for thinking he was only telling me to scream because I am a girl) He said that I had probably held my breath and then when I went to breath I couldn't get the air in because of the speed we were going.
We slowly walked back over to the main reception where we met up with the six other army lads and talked about our jumps. The parachute centre gave us a beer each and we all sat and gossiped for a while. I then changed out of my lovely green jumpsuit and gave all the equipment back to Michael and thanked him for the enjoyable experience.
I would recommend skydiving to anyone not afraid of heights. Although it is quite expensive, it was a thoroughly exhilarating experience and left me with wobbly legs due to the adrenalin rush.
My one major piece of advise to anyone doing a skydive?? Make sure you scream!!!!
Summary: My amazing day skydiving