No chance to back out
Originally, we had just “popped in” to talk about jumping options and book a slot in the coming days. We found ourselves quickly suited up, in the last few spaces on a plane before we could change our minds!
We chose to go from 15,000 feet to get more free fall time, and chose a freefall camera package so we could really get the perspective of our jump over any wrist mounted footage. This option was pricey but gave us some pretty wicked photos and a nice video too.
We were suited up in jump suits, and then the next roster was called out with our names on. Whilst crew members packed up parachutes in the background, eager jump masters bounded forward to introduce themselves. Putting any nerves well and truly to rest, we were ushered forward the plane. We sat squashed, one behind each other, knees touching the row across from us. We climbed steadily to 12,000 feet, where the first victims were thrown out the plane, and we were handed oxygen masks for the final ascent to 15,000.
With time up and no chance to back out, we inched one by one toward the door. This is no easy feat when clipped together by your harnesses. The crazy photographers perched, bird like above the plane door, getting an eagles eye view of us sat on the precipice and then followed as we plummeted toward the ground, the earth spread out beneath us.
A long way down!
The first ten to fifteen seconds are taken up by a plummeting sensation as you reach terminal velocity. The instructors, no doubt used to this feeling calmly orientated their own and thus our bodies into position, whilst we were allowed a few moments of sheer panic. The severity of your decision slowly dawns – jumped out of a perfectly good, serviceable plane with only a parachute to prevent you turning into a lump of jam a few thousand feet below. You quickly hit terminal velocity however, and from here on down, the ride is quite enjoyable. You have a few moments in which you experience what a bird must feel as it soars through the air, then parachute is deployed and you float serenely back to earth. Unless that is the instructor feels the time is right to pull a few stunts on the way down!
On landing, you can’t help but smile, torn between the enjoyment you felt and the plummeting feeling of resignation that this could be a very, very expensive new hobby! Watch all the action unfold below: