Saturday, September 27, 2008

Jumping out of airplanes

Chris and I jumped out of an airplane. It was his birthday present from Tanya and I was along for the ride (and doing my duties as comrade-in-arms-for-insane-stuff).

I thought I would be really scared when I'm sitting on the edge of the airplane looking down about to fall off. I was wrong. There is no time for that. Its two seconds between sitting on the edge and falling off. Before you know it, you're plumeting towards the earth at 100+mph. Whoa!

The instructions-to-peril ratio in tandem skydiving is near 0. Instructions include "hold on to straps" and "put head on my (instructor's) shoulder". Yippee.

The dive was from 13k feet, so not much freefall - about 1 minute or so.

You can't scream while freefalling. Too much wind, nothing comes out. And even if did, there's no one to hear anything.

The earth looks very pretty. Like an extremely high res, large field-of-view Google Earth. Really.

The jerk when your parachute opens up isn't that bad. I felt it for sure, but it wasn't the hard crazy jerk that I'd imagined it would be.

My tandem instructor guy let me play around with the controls a bit. Pull left hand to rotate left, pull right to rotate right, pull both to slow down. It seemed to work quite well.

Its quite common to get nauseated or even throw up after the jump. I was in the former category.

I was really worried about breaking my ankles when I landed. Turns out you can just pull in your legs towards the chest and stick them out (sort of like keeping-ski-tips-up) and land on your butt. I totally made use of this alternate landing technique and was quite happy with the results.

This checks off one of the boxes of "stuff-to-do-before-death", so YAY!!!!!

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