Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Parachuting! (last part)

The wind was rushing past my ears with such intensity that I couldn't hear myself screaming. I was sure I was, but my voice was lost in the void I was falling in to. The chute deployed and yanked me up a bit. For a brief moment, I felt like I was suspended mid air, perfectly still. After this moment of awe, the checklist I had to work down came to mind.

"CHECKING FOR SHAPE, FLOAT, NO SPIN", I heard myself screaming. That checked out, but when I looked up at the parachute I noticed the lines were all tangled up! I grabbed onto each line and pushed outward as hard as I could, just as we had trained. This caused the lines to un-twirl but sent me spinning around my axis. I spun around so fast that the lines were now getting tangled up again in the opposite direction. I tried pulling the lines apart with even more vigor which stopped me from spinning and straightened the lines. I could now finish the checklist and entered the figure-8 holding pattern.

At this point I had to look down to orient myself and pick a spot for me to land. Slightly hesitant, I turned my gaze downward to see my feet bungling in nothingness. Looking beyond them, I saw the airstrip and the seemingly tiny fenced-in area I was supposed to target. Despite what I had learned from the movies ("whatever you do, don't look down"), looking down wasn't that bad. In fact, I enjoyed it. Looking around, I could see for incredible distances, with the horizon revealing the curvature of our planet.

Read on after the jump


We had been trained to exit the holding pattern at 1000 feet, having been shown pictures of when that would be but I found my memory of them to be of little use in mid-air. So, attempting to guess the altitude, I exited the holding pattern. "No, wait, I'm nowhere near a 1000 feet yet", I thought and went back to making figure eights. After second guessing myself 3 or 4 times I finally decided I was low enough to begin preparing for the landing.

I found the parachute to be surprisingly responsive to my maneuverings and managed to find the proper approach easily. Slowly, the ground came closer and closer to my feet. Just before touching down I badly misjudged the distance left, hitting the ground with my toes, flipping forward and falling flat on my face, sending my friends into fits of laughter.

Having been calm and focused the entire way down, the adrenaline really started gushing through my veins once I had my feet back on solid ground. I was picking sand from my teeth the rest of the day, but I couldn't stop smiling. We all agreed it was beyond awesome.

If you ever get the chance to go parachuting, do it! I HIGHLY recommend it!

56 comments:

  1. Holy shit dude, I want to go SO bad. Your story is awesome, keep up the good work!

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  2. Why would I jump out a perfectly good aircraft?

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  3. It must be a beautiful experience.

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  4. So jealous, really want to try this. Maybe this summer...

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  5. This is one of the things that is on my bucket list.

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  6. Jealoussss. I've always wanted to go skydiving.

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  7. I'm jealous, wish I could do it lol

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  8. Cool little post, please check out my Razer Lycosa review on my blog =D

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. Nice glad you didnt break anything with that landing

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  11. wow, how adventurous!

    btw, I have a new post on GTL Everyday :)

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  12. I dislike falling and the sensation of falling, even when controlled. I'd be one of those that would freeze up at the door and not jump. It would have to be on fire I think to get me out of it.

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  13. Not sure if I'd have the guts to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

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  14. that takes some balls

    btw, check out my new post on Enhanced by MS Paint :)

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  15. wow, i would be freaking out- no way i could deal with that

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  16. that's unts i really need to try

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  17. Oh no I could not do this!
    But it is really good to read about it I know what it may feel like!
    Mesty =)

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  18. I'm afraid of heights... I couldn't do this

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  19. ohhh wow, sounds fun as hell =D

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  20. Scary, but it sounds like it was a good time.

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  21. I got to Bungee-jump for my eighteenth. The rush was beyond intense and I can't imagine anything more intense.

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  22. Sounds like heaps of fun, even if my dentist may not approve.

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  23. I want to try!

    Hey you have a very nice blog. I'll follow to check all your new post :D

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  24. It sound breathtaking and scary, but i still want to do it.

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  25. sounds exhilarating! i hope to one day give it a try but ill admit heights bother me

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  26. Love the story bro, following.

    Really want to skydive myself, have done for years!

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  27. i've always wanted to go sky diving but i'm way too scared of heights. i can't even ride roller coasters LOL

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  28. looking forward to reading more of your experiences.

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