Skydiving Training

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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You've made your decision: it's time for skydiving training. You have looked at birds with a jealous eye long enough. You are going to jump from an airplane and see what it feels like. The cost will run from about $175 to $250. This is the fee for the drop zone--where you'll get your skydiving training.

What's Involved in Skydiving Training?

These instructors will conduct the ground component of skydiving training. Training will include an introduction to the equipment: harness, parachute, jumpsuits, AADs, altimeter, and so forth. It will introduce you to the US Parachutists Association, which plays godparent and overseer to the sport.

The instructors will then help you through the one of three methods of air skydiving training you've selected as most comfortable for you. The tandem freefall is the most common for beginners. In it, you are connected to an experienced jumper, your instructor, as you jump from about 10,000 feet, during the 40-second freefall, and through the descent with the canopy (parachute) open.

The static line jump is the military method. In it, you jump solo from about 3,500 feet, freefall for two to four seconds until a line from the aircraft forces your parachute open, then you descend more gently to the ground. The accelerated freefall leaves you on the ground for another hour or so of more intensive lecture. Then, you'll jump solo the first time, but in the company of two experienced jumpers/certified trainers who will stay with you the entire time. If you want to keep at it, this might be your route.

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