Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's a Bird... It's a Plane... No... It's a Sky-Diver!

On Friday night, Dad and Joey left a little after 5 PM for Manhattan, where they and twenty or so other guys from here were going to attend a class to learn a little about sky-diving. The class lasted four hours... They arrived home pretty stoked about jumping from a plane the next day. The mortality rate is, apparently, tiny: they had one death in 1992; none since. Those are pretty good odds! (I might add that they did ask a priest about the ethics and morality of jumping from a plane and got the okay from him, given the safety measures that are taken.)They start out with what's called a static line jump: the parachute is triggered at the time that you leave the plane. It's not up to you and it's pretty much fool-proof. They also start with a jump from about 3500 feet elevation and it takes about 3 1/2 minutes to reach the ground. There's a walkie-talkie type contraption attached to the helmets and the jumper gets talked through the maneuvers that will land him safely on the ground.Saturday morning came and they left the house by 7:30, convoying back to K-State for the second part of the preparatory class and then their virgin jumps. Two or three guys who had attended the Friday night class didn't show up Saturday morning, so the class consisted of 19 students. They were divided into flight groups of three - with one "group" of one. At 11:30, the first group took off and made their jumps. The very first guy to go made a near perfect landing - and, as it turned out, the best landing of the day. Joey got to go up with a couple of his compatriots :) - and was the second of the three to jump.That's he with the orange and black parachute...Dad went up in the group after Joey.There he is!They were pretty pumped about it when they got home and the stories were great! They wanted to go and jump again today, but there was only one instructor available at the jump site and for beginners, two instructors are required. Upon hearing their glowing reports about the rush you get from jumping, I'm half-convinced to try it myself...!! :-O

What do you think? Would you do it?

1 comment:

Maex said...

You've totally got to go!!! I've been a few times and it is one of the most incredible experiences. I'd started working on my solo license last year and time/money got in the way. One of these days I'll go back and get it.