Falling from 2.4 miles up at 120mph!

… otherwise known as sky diving!  For Christmas last year I got given an experience voucher to go sky diving.  It’s one of those things that I’ve always thought I might like to try once, but once faced with the opportunity became slightly scarier!  I wasn’t scared of the actual moment we had to jump from the plane, but more the moments before the parachute opened.

Nice hatSo this morning I got up at 5.45 and headed up to the Army Parachute Base in Netheravon.  The weather hadn’t been looking promising all week, but the clouds cleared to leave a lovely sunny morning.  On arrival I had to register and fill in some paperwork… claiming I really was of sound mind and did actually want to jump out of a plane!

We were shown a film to get us ready for what to expect and then given a briefing.  In the briefing the girl took us through what would happen and what we needed to do.  We then had to go through the motions on the floor… totally the same same thing honestly!

I then met up with my jump partner and instructor, Patch.  He seemed like a nice guy to be strapped to, although I was slightly concerned that he was shorter than me and we’d been told to make sure our instructor landed first.  Patch got me suited up in a rather fetching blue jumpsuit and pink and black hat.

Getting readyThen it was time to get strapped in to the harness.  “On the count of 3 just yank these straps as tight as you can”, said Patch… well that was snug!

We walked over to the plane and Patch gave me a final briefing about the ride up and getting out of the plane.  In the plane, we all squashed up, legs spread wide for the next jumper to find space to perch on the floor.  The plane trip took about 20 minutes.  About 5 minutes before we reached our ‘destination’ we had to climb onto the laps of our partner so that we could strap ourselves together even tighter.  It was certainly cosy!

Heading offSuddenly the red light went on to say we were good to go and we shuffled to the open doorway.  I dangled my legs over the side of the plane, tipped my head back, and before I knew it we were tumbling forward out of the plane!  We tumbled head over heels once before ending up face down, with the wind streaming up at us.  Patch tapped me on the shoulder to let me know to change my arm position so that they were at 90 degrees out to the side.

2.4 miles up!The freefall lasted for 40 seconds in total, but it went so much quicker.  Neither the getting out of the door, or the freefall felt scary in the slightest… just slightly surreal.  Before I knew it we were being hoisted backwards as our canopy deployed (thankfully!).  You certainly felt that!

We then more gently floated down towards the air field.  The winds were quite strong and so the plane had given us plenty of space to drift.  We steered round in circles to check out the scenery – quite a buzz whizzing round in circles up in the air – certainly better than any rollercoaster I’ve been on!

On our wayAfter a quick practice of our landing position in the air, and before I knew it, the ground was getting closer.  I saw some of the ground staff running over to meet us and Patch asked me to get into the landing position with my legs up.  And then we landed… and my legs turned to jelly… and we fell backwards into a heap on the grass!  Eventually, my head stoped buzzing enough for us to clear up our parachute and head back to the base.

It was certainly a memorable experience and quite amazing!  More photographs can be found on my Flickr set.

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2 Responses to “Falling from 2.4 miles up at 120mph!”

  1. davidlind Says:

    Amazing. What a cool experience. And it doesn’t sound scary at all. Please go back and do it again without an instructor strapped to your back. I would love to read about that. I wonder if it would be very different ?

  2. Marlene Says:

    You are much braver than I – I don’t think I could have forced myself out of the plane – LOL. Good for you – it must have been such an amazing experience.

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