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Tandem exiting a Super Twin Otter over Chicagoland Skydiving Center, USA
Hybrid formation over Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Tandem in freefall over Hinckley, Illinois, USA

Parachuting, also known as skydiving , is the action of performing acrobatics during freefall, followed by pulling the ripcord of a parachute, Although, if you JUMP from said surface, you are technically finishing a jump, You must FALL for it to be considered skydiving, it can be performed from any object as long as you Fall and pull the ripcord before landing.

The history of skydiving starts Andre-Jacques Garnerin who made successful parachute jumps from a hot-air balloon in 1797. The military developed parachuting technology as a way to save aircrews from emergencies aboard balloons and aircraft in flight, later as a way of delivering soldiers to the battlefield. Early competitions date back to the 1930s, and it became an international sport in 1951.

Parachuting is performed as a recreational activity and a competitive sport, as well as for the deployment of military personnel Airborne forces and occasionally forest firefighters.

A fixed base operator at a sky diving airport operates one or more aircraft that takes groups of skydivers up for a fee. An individual jumper can go up in a light aircraft such as a Cessna C-172 or C-182. In busier dropping zones (DZ) larger aircraft may be used such as the Cessna Caravan C208, De Havilland Twin Otter DHC6 or Short Skyvan.

A typical jump involves individuals jumping out of an aircraft (usually an airplane, but sometimes a helicopter or even the gondola of a balloon), at approximately 4,000 meters (around 13,000 feet) altitude, and free-falling for a period of time (about a minute)[1] before activating a parachute to slow the landing down to safe speeds (about 5 to 7 minutes).

When the parachute opens (usually the parachute will be fully inflated by 2,500 feet) the jumper can control the direction and speed with toggles on the end of steering lines attached to the trailing edge of the parachute, and can aim for the landing site and come to a relatively gentle stop. All modern sport parachutes are self-inflating "ram-air" wings that provide control of speed and direction similar to the related paragliders. Purists in either sport would note that paragliders have much greater lift and range, but that parachutes are designed to absorb the stresses of deployment at terminal velocity.

By manipulating the shape of the body a skydiver can generate turns, forward motion, backwards motion, and even lift.

When leaving an aircraft, for a few seconds a skydiver continues to travel forward as well as down, due to the momentum created by the plane's speed (known as "forward throw"). The perception of a change from horizontal to vertical flight is known as the "relative wind", or informally as "being on the hill". In freefall, skydivers generally do not experience a "falling" sensation because the resistance of the air to their body at speeds above about 50 mph (80 km/h) provides some feeling of weight and direction. At normal exit speeds for aircraft (approx 90 mph (140 km/h)) there is little feeling of falling just after exit, but jumping from a balloon or helicopter can create this sensation. Skydivers reach terminal velocity (around 120 mph (190 km/h) for belly to Earth orientations, 150-200 mph (240–320 km/h) for head down orientations) and are no longer accelerating towards the ground. At this point the sensation is as of a hard wind.

12-way formation with video over Chicagoland Skydiving Center
Jump with Russian flag

Many people make their first jump with an experienced and trained instructor - this type of skydive may be in the form of a tandem skydive. During the tandem jump the jumpmaster is responsible for the stable exit, maintaining a stable freefall position, and activating and controlling the parachute. Other training methods include static line, IAD (Instructor Assisted Deployment), and AFF (Accelerated Free fall) also known as Progressive Free-Fall (PFF) in Canada.

At larger dropzones, training in the sport is often conducted by full-time instructors and coaches. Commercial centers often provide year-round availability, larger aircraft, and highly experienced staff.

In areas where winter (or monsoons) gets in the way of year-round operation, commercial skydiving centers are less common and the parachuting activity may be by clubs. These clubs tend to use smaller aircraft. Training may be offered (by instructors who are tested and certified in exactly the same way as their commercial counterparts) in occasional classes or as demand warrants. These clubs tend to be weekend only operations as the majority of the staff have full-time jobs during the week. Club members will often visit larger centers for holidays, events, and for some concentrated exposure to the latest techniques.

Contents

Skills

Tandem and camera flyer exit a Twin Otter

Parachuting has complex skills that can take thousands of jumps to master, but the basics are often fully understood and useful during the first few jumps. There are four basic areas of skill: basic safety, free fall maneuvers, parachute operation, and landing.

Free-fall maneuvers

In freefall most skydivers start by learning to maintain a stable belly to earth "arch" position[2]. In this position the average fall rate is around 190 km/h (120 mph). Learning a stable arch position is a basic skill essential for a reliable parachute deployment. Next, jumpers learn to move or turn in any direction while remaining belly to earth. Using these skills a group of jumpers can create sequences of formations on a single jump, a discipline formerly known as relative work (RW) and now as formation skydiving (FS). In the late 1980s more experienced jumpers started experimenting with freeflying, falling in any orientation other than belly to earth. Today many jumpers start freeflying soon after they earn their license, bypassing the traditional flat-flying stepping stone.

Parachute operation and landing

White sand circular target at a drop zone

The decision of when to deploy the parachute is a matter of safety. A parachute should be deployed sufficiently high to give the parachutist time to handle a malfunction. 600 metres (1,970 ft) is the practical minimum for advanced skydivers.[3] Skydivers monitor their altimeters during freefall to decide when to open their parachutes. Many skydivers open higher to practice their parachute flying skills. During a "hop-and-pop," a jump in which the parachute is deployed immediately upon exiting the aircraft, it is not uncommon to be under canopy as high as 1200 to 1500 meters (4000 to 5000 ft).

Parachute flying involves two challenges. Firstly to avoid injury and secondly to land where planned, often on a designated target. Some experienced skydivers enjoy performing aerobatic maneuvers with parachutes, the most notable being the "Swoop". This is a thrilling, but dangerous maneuver entailing a steep, high speed landing approach, before leveling off a couple of feet above the ground to maintain a fast glide parallel to the surface. Swoops as far as 180 metres (590 ft) have been achieved.

A modern parachute or canopy "wing" can glide substantial distances. Elliptical canopies go faster and farther, and some small, highly loaded canopies glide faster than it is possible to run, which can make them very challenging to land. A highly experienced skydiver using a very small canopy can achieve over 100 km/h (60 mph) horizontal speeds in landing.

Today, the majority of skydiving related injuries and deaths happen under a fully opened and functioning parachute; the most common cause being poorly-executed, radical maneuvers near to the ground, such as hook turns, or landing flares performed either too high or too low.[4]

Safety

Despite the perception of danger, fatalities are rare. However, each year a number of people are hurt or killed parachuting worldwide.[5][6] About 30 skydivers are killed each year in the US; roughly one death for every 100,000 jumps.[7]

In the US and in most of the western world skydivers are required to carry two parachutes. The reserve parachute must be periodically inspected and re-packed (whether used or not) by a certificated parachute rigger (in the US, an FAA certificated parachute rigger). Many skydivers use an automatic activation device (AAD) that opens the reserve parachute at a safe altitude in the event of failing to activate the main canopy themselves. Most skydivers wear a visual altimeter, but increasingly many also use audible altimeters fitted to their helmet.

Injuries and fatalities occurring under a fully functional parachute usually happen because the skydiver performed unsafe maneuvers or made an error in judgment while flying their canopy, typically resulting in a high speed impact with the ground or other hazards on the ground.[8] One of the most common sources of injury is a low turn under a high-performance canopy and while swooping. Swooping is the advanced discipline of gliding parallel to the ground during landing.

A military parachutist about to jump above Dakar, Senegal

Changing wind conditions are another risk factor. In conditions of strong winds, and turbulence during hot days the parachutist can be caught in downdrafts close to the ground. Shifting winds can cause a crosswind or downwind landing which have a higher potential for injury due to the wind speed adding to the landing speed.

Another risk factor is that of "canopy collisions", or collisions between two or more skydivers under fully-inflated parachutes. Canopy collisions can cause the jumpers' inflated parachutes to entangle with each other, often resulting in a sudden collapse (deflation) of one or more of the involved parachutes. When this occurs, the jumpers often must quickly perform emergency procedures to "cut-away" (jettison) from their main canopies and deploy their reserve canopies. Canopy collisions are particularly dangerous when occurring at altitudes too low to allow the jumpers adequate time to safely jettison their main parachutes and fully deploy their reserve parachutes.

Equipment failure rarely causes fatalities and injuries. Approximately one in a thousand deployments of a main parachute results in a malfunction[citation needed]. Ram-air parachutes typically spin uncontrollably when malfunctioned, and must be jettisoned before deploying the reserve parachute. Reserve parachutes are packed and deployed differently, they are also designed more conservatively and built and tested to more exacting standards so they are more reliable than main parachutes, but the real safety advantage comes from the probability of an unlikely main malfunction multiplied by the even less likely probability of a reserve malfunction. This yields an even smaller probability of a double malfunction although the possibility of a main malfunction that cannot be cutaway causing a reserve malfunction is a very real risk.

Parachuting disciplines such as BASE jumping or those that involve equipment such as wing suit flying and sky surfing have a higher risk factor due to the lower mobility of the jumper and the greater risk of entanglement. For this reason these disciplines are generally practiced by experienced jumpers.

Depictions in commercial films — notably Hollywood action movies — usually overstate the dangers of the sport. Often, the characters in such films are shown performing feats that are physically impossible without special effects assistance. In other cases, their practices would cause them to be grounded or shunned at any safety-conscious drop zone or club. USPA member drop zones in the US and Canada are required to have an experienced jumper act as a "safety officer" (in Canada DSO - Drop Zone Safety Officer; in the U.S. S&TA - Safety and Training Advisor) who is responsible for dealing with the jumpers who violate rules, regulations, or otherwise act in a fashion deemed unsafe by the appointed individual.

In many countries, either the local regulations or the liability-conscious prudence of the dropzone owners require that parachutists must have attained the age of majority before engaging in the sport.

Parachuting and weather

Parachuting in poor weather, especially with thunderstorms, high winds, and dust devils can be a dangerous activity. Reputable drop zones will suspend normal operations during inclement weather.

Types

There are several disciplines to embrace within parachuting. Each of these is enjoyed by both the recreational (weekend) and the competitive participants. There is even a small group of professionals who earn their living with parachuting. They win competitions having cash prizes or are employed or sponsored by skydiving related manufacturers.

Parachutists can participate both in competitive and in purely recreational skydiving events. World championships are held regularly in locations offering flat terrain and clear skies. An exception is Paraski, where winter weather and ski-hill terrain are required.

Types of parachutings:

Training

Instructor explaining the operation of a parachute to student pilots

Skydiving can be practised without jumping. Vertical wind tunnels are used to practice for free fall ("indoor skydiving" or "bodyflight"), while virtual reality parachute simulators are used to practice parachute control.

Beginning skydivers seeking training have the following options:

A program where students accomplish their first jump as a solo freefall is offered at the United States Air Force Academy. The program is called AM490, one in a series of airmanship courses at the school. While typically open only to cadets, Winfield W. Scott Jr., the school's superintendent, went through this program when he was nearly 60 years old.

Parachute deployment

At a skydiver's deployment altitude, the individual manually deploys a small pilot-chute which acts as a drogue, catching air and pulling out the main parachute or the main canopy. There are two principal systems in use : the "throwaway", where the skydiver pulls a toggle attached to the top of the pilot-chute stowed in a small pocket outside the main container : and the "pull-out", where the skydiver pulls a small pad attached to the pilot-chute which is stowed inside the container.

Throwaway pilot-chute pouches are usually positioned at the bottom of the container - the B.O.C. deployment system - but older harnesses often have leg-mounted pouches. The latter are safe for flat-flying, but unsuitable for freestyle or head-down flying.

The pilot-chute is connected to a line known as the "bridle", in turn attached to a small deployment bag which has the folded parachute inside and the lines stowed in rubber bands across the top. At the bottom of the container which holds the main parachute is a fabric loop which, during packing, is fed through grommets on each of four flaps that close the container.

Attached to the bridle is a curved pin which is inserted through the closing loop after it has been fed through each of these grommets. When the pilotchute is thrown out, it catches the wind and pulls the pin out of the closing loop, allowing the pilot-chute to pull the deployment bag from the container. The parachute lines are pulled loose from rubber bands, through which they were stowed during packing, and extend as the canopy starts to open. A rectangular piece of fabric called the "slider" (which separates the parachute lines into four main groups fed through grommets in the four respective corners of the slider) slows the opening of the parachute and works its way down until the canopy is fully open and the slider is just above the head of the skydiver. The slider slows and controls the deployment of the parachute. Without a slider the parachute would inflate violently fast and the parachute would be destroyed by the wind drag/rapid deceleration. During a normal deployment, a skydiver will generally experience a few seconds of intense deceleration, in the realm of 3 to 4 G, while the parachute slows the descent from 120 mph (190 km/h) to approximately 12 mph (19 km/h).

If a skydiver experiences a malfunction of their main parachute which they cannot correct, they pull a "cut-away" handle on the front right-hand side of their harness (on the chest) which will release the main canopy from the harness/container. Once free from the malfunctioning main canopy, the reserve canopy can be activated manually by pulling a second handle on the front left harness. Some containers are fitted with a connecting line from the main to reserve parachutes - known as a Reserve Static Line (RSL) - which pulls opens the reserve container faster than a manual release could. Whichever method is used, a spring loaded pilotchute then extracts the reserve parachute from the upper half of the container.

Variations

In addition to disciplines for which people train, purchase equipment and get coaching, the recreational skydiver finds ways to just have fun.

Hit and rock

One example of this is "Hit and Rock", which is a variant of Accuracy landing devised to let people of varying skill levels compete for fun. "Hit and Rock" is originally from POPS (Parachutists Over Phorty Society). See the POPS main site

The object is to land as close as possible to the chair, remove the parachute harness, sprint to the chair, sit fully in the chair and rock back and forth at least one time. The contestant is timed from the moment that feet touch the ground until that first rock is completed. This event is considered a race.

Pond swooping

Pond swooping is a form of competitive parachuting wherein canopy pilots attempt to touch down at a glide across a small body of water, and onto the shore. Events provide lighthearted competition, rating accuracy, speed, distance and style. Points and peer approval are reduced when a participant "chows", or fails to reach shore and sinks into the water.

Swoop and chug the beer

Very similar to Hit and Rock, except the target is replaced by a case of beer. Each jumper is timed from the moment his feet touch the ground until he "chugs", or rapidly drinks the can of beer and places the empty can upside-down on his head. Drop zones enforce rules prohibiting anyone from jumping any more that day once alcohol has been consumed. Therefore, the Swoop and Chug (also known as Hit & Chug) is usually reserved for the last load of the day.

Cross-Country

A cross-country jump is a skydive where the participants open their parachutes immediately after jumping, with the intention of covering as much ground under canopy as possible. Usual distance from Jump Run to the dropzone is 10 miles (16 kilometers).

A Technoavia SM92 Finist of Target Skysports lifts skydivers to the jump altitude at Hibaldstow, England

Camera flying

In camera flying, a cameraman or camerawoman jumps with other skydivers and films them. The camera flyer often wears specialized equipment, such as a winged jumpsuit to provide a greater range of fall rates, helmet-mounted video and still cameras, mouth operated camera switches, and optical sights. Some skydivers specialize in camera flying and a few earn fees for filming students on coached jumps or tandem-jumpers, or producing professional footage and photographs for the media.

There is always a demand for good camera flyers in the skydiving community, as many of the competitive skydiving disciplines are judged from a video record.

Night jumps

Parachuting is not always restricted to daytime hours; experienced skydivers sometimes perform night jumps. For obvious safety reasons, this requires more equipment than a usual daytime jump and in most jurisdictions requires both an advanced skydiving license (at least a B-License in the U.S.) and a meeting with the local safety official covering who will be doing what on the load. A lighted altimeter (preferably accompanied with an audible altimeter) is a must. Skydivers performing night jumps often take flashlights up with them so that they can check their canopies have properly deployed.

Visibility to other skydivers and other aircraft is also a consideration; FAA regulations require skydivers jumping at night to be wearing a light visible for three miles (5 km) in every direction, and to turn it on once they are under canopy. A chemlight(glowstick) is a good idea on a night jump.

Night jumpers should be made aware of the Dark Zone, when landing at night. Above 100 feet jumpers flying their canopy have a good view of the landing zone normally because of reflected ambient light/moon light. Once they get close to the ground, this ambient light source is lost, because of the low angle of reflection. The lower they get, the darker the ground looks. At about 100 feet and below it may seem that they are landing in a black hole. Suddenly it becomes very dark, and the jumper hits the ground soon after. This ground rush should be explained and anticipated for the first time night jumper.

Stuff jumps

A skydiver sits in a rubber raft steadied by three other jumpers

With the availability of a rear door aircraft and a large, unpopulated space to jump over, 'stuff' jumps become possible. In these jumps the skydivers jump out with some object. Rubber raft jumps are popular, where the jumpers sit in a rubber raft. Cars, bicycles, motorcycles, hoovers, water tanks and inflatable companions have also been thrown out the back of an aircraft. At a certain height the jumpers break off from the object and deploy their parachutes, leaving it to smash into the ground at terminal velocity.

Parachuting organizations

National parachuting associations exist in many countries, many affiliated with the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), to promote their sport. In most cases, national representative bodies, as well as local dropzone operators, require that participants carry certification, attesting to their training, their level of experience in the sport, and their proven competence. Anyone who cannot produce such bona-fides is treated as a student, requiring close supervision.

The primary organization in the United States is the United States Parachute Association (USPA)[1]. This organization hands out licenses and ratings for all American skydiving activities based on safety qualifications. The USPA governs safety in the sport of skydiving as this is the organizations sole responsibility and also publishes the Skydivers Information Manual (SIM) and many other resources. In Canada, the Canadian Sport Parachuting Association is the lead organization. In South Africa the sport is managed by the Parachute Association of South Africa, and in the United Kingdom by the British Parachute Association.

Within the sport, associations promote safety, technical advances, training-and-certification, competition and other interests of their members. Outside their respective communities, they promote their sport to the public, and often intercede with government regulators.

Competitions are organized at regional, national and international levels in most these disciplines. Some of them offer amateur competition.

Many of the more photogenic/videogenic variants also enjoy sponsored events with prize money for the winners.

The majority of jumpers tend to be non-competitive, enjoying the opportunity to "get some air" with their friends on weekends and holidays. The atmosphere of their gatherings is relaxed, sociable and welcoming to newcomers. Party events, called "boogies" are arranged at local, national and international scale, each year, attracting both young jumpers and their elders - Parachutists Over Phorty (POPs), Skydivers Over Sixty (SOS) and even older groups.

Notable people associated with the sport include Valery Rozov, a gold medalist from the 1998 X Games, who has had more than 1,500 jumps. Georgia Thompson ("Tiny") Broadwick is one of the first American skydivers, and she made the first freefall.

A tandem instructor and a student skydiving together

Drop zones

In parachuting, a drop zone or DZ is the area above and around a location where a parachutist freefalls and expects to land. It is usually situated beside a small airport, often sharing the facility with other general aviation activities. There is generally a landing area designated for parachute landings. Drop zone staff include the DZO (drop zone operator or owner), manifestors, pilots, instructors, coaches, cameramen, packers, riggers and other general staff.

Equipment

Skydive in central New York at Hamilton Airport

Costs in the sport are not trivial. As new technological advances or performance enhancements are introduced, they tend to nudge equipment prices higher. Similarly, the average skydiver carries more equipment than in earlier years, with safety devices (such as an AAD) contributing a significant portion of the cost.

A full set of brand-new equipment can easily cost as much as a new motorcycle or half a small car. The market is not large enough to permit the steady lowering of prices that is seen with some other equipment like computers.

In many countries, the sport supports a used-equipment market. For beginners that is the preferred way to acquire "gear", and has two advantages:

  • First, they can try types of parachutes (there are many) to learn which style they prefer, before paying the price for new equipment.
  • Second, they can acquire a complete system and all the peripheral items in a short time and at reduced cost.

Novices generally start with parachutes that are large and docile relative to the jumper's body-weight. As they improve in skill and confidence, they can graduate to smaller, faster, more responsive parachutes. An active jumper might change parachute canopies several times in the space of a few years, while retaining his or her first harness/container and peripheral equipment.

Older jumpers, especially those who jump only on weekends in summer, sometimes tend in the other direction, selecting slightly larger, more gentle parachutes that do not demand youthful intensity and reflexes on each jump. They may be adhering to the maxim that: "There are old jumpers and there are bold jumpers, but there are no old, bold jumpers."

Most parachuting equipment is ruggedly designed and is enjoyed by several owners before being retired. Purchasers are always advised to have any potential purchases examined by a qualified parachute rigger. A rigger is trained to spot signs of damage or misuse. Riggers also keep track of industry product and safety bulletins, and can therefore determine if a piece of equipment is up-to-date and serviceable.

Records

  • The world's highest tandem skydive jump took place above Mt.Everest
  • World's largest freefall: February 8, 2006 in Udon Thani, Thailand (400 linked persons in freefall).
  • Largest head down formation (vertical formation): July 31, 2009 at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, USA (108 linked skydivers in head to Earth attitude).
  • World's largest canopy formation: 100, set on November 21, 2007 in Lake Wales, Florida, USA. [2]
  • Largest wingsuit formation: November 12, 2008, Lake Elsinore, California, USA (71 wingsuit jumpers).[3]
  • Don Kellner holds the record for the most parachute jumps, with a total of over 36,000 jumps. [4]
  • Cheryl Stearns (USA) holds the record for the most parachute descents by a woman, with a total of 15,560 in August 2003.
  • Capt. Joe W. Kittinger achieved the highest and longest (14 min) parachute jump in history on August 16, 1960 as part of a United States Air Force program testing high-altitude escape systems. Wearing a pressure suit, Capt. Kittinger ascended for an hour and a half in an open gondola attached to a balloon to an altitude of 102,800 feet (31,330 m), where he then jumped. The fall lasted 4 minutes and 36 seconds, during which Capt. Kittinger reached speeds of 1142 km/h (714 mph) [9].
  • Adrian Nicholas holds the record for the longest freefall. A 4 minutes and 55 seconds wingsuit jump made on March 12 1999.[5]
  • Jay Stokes holds the record for most parachute descents in a single day at 640. [6]
  • The Oldest Skydiver: Frank Moody, aged 101, made a tandem jump on June 6, 2004 at Skydive Cairns. The Tandem Master was Karl Eitrich.
  • In July 1986, Dominique Jacquet and Jean-Pascal Oron established the first world record in landing at high altitude by a landing on the "Roof of Europe", Mont Blanc at 4807 m.[citation needed]
  • Marco Wiederkehr of Liechtenstein holds the world speed skydiving record with 511.63 km/h (317.91 mph). [7]

See also

Notes

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Skydiving article)

From Wikitravel

This article is a travel topic.

Skydiving or Parachuting is a sport in which you exit a plane from altitude, freefall for a short while and then deploy a parachute to fly safely to the ground.

Destinations

There are many dropzones around the world. Most dropzones will provide accommodation of some sort.

Africa

South Africa

Parachuting in South Africa is governed by PASA [1]

Asia

Central America and Caribbean

North America

United States of America

  • Las Vegas Gravity Zone Skydiving Center, +1 702 456-3802.  edit
  • Skydive Greene County, 177 South Monroe-Siding Road, Xenia, Ohio, +1 937 372-0700 (), [10]. (weather permitting): Sa-Su 8AM-8PM; M-F 8:30AM-8PM. Reservations recommended. $250/person (group, cash, college and military discounts).  edit
  • Skydive! Santa Barbara, +1 888 800-JUMP(5867). The Drop Zone with an Ocean View! Feel the rush of flying through the air at 120 mph. Check out the fantastic ocean view of Point Concepcion. Certificate of Achievement presented on your first jump. They offer 2 ways of completing your first jump, Tandem or Static Line.  edit
  • Skydive Sebastian, Sebastian Airport, +1 772 388-5672 (toll free: +1 800-399-JUMP), [11].  edit
  • Freefall Oz Skydiving Center, Shinglehouse, PA, 1 814 697-7218, [13]. Experienced jumpers and beginners welcome, video recording available. Certified by the United States Parachute Association.  edit

South America

Australia and Oceania

Australia

  • Skydive Cairns, 59 Sheridan Street, Cairns, +7 4031 5466 (toll free: 1800 330 044 (free call in Australia), , fax: +7 4031 5505), [14]. Skydive Cairns offers tandem single jumps and AFF courses. One of the most beautiful plane rides up to 13,000 feet overlooking the reef just long enough before you lose your lunch on the way down.  edit
  • Tandem Cairns, Shop 10, 93 The Esplanade, Cairns (entrance on Aplin Street), (toll free: 1800 805 432 (free call in Australia), ), [15]. $270.  edit

New Zealand

  • Freefall Skydive, 0800 373 335, [16]. Located in spectacular Taupo offering jumps above the amazing lake and volcanoes at heights up to 15,000 feet above the ground. From $214.  edit
  • Skydive New Zealand, 0800 751 0080, [17]. This is probably the best place in New Zealand to do this activity thanks to its amazing scenery. Between NZ$225 and NZ$500 depending on height and options.  edit
  • Skydive Abel Tasman, 0800 422 899, [18]. Tandem Skydiving from up to 13,000 feet with the best of NZ's scenery including National Parks, Southern Alps, blue oceans and golden beaches! Famous for top quality freefall photography! From NZ$229.  edit
  • Skydive the Sounds, 0800 DREAMIT, [19]. High standards of safety, service and superb 360 degrees of scenery. We are also the home of the unique "X Flight" (take off from Wellington and skydive into the South Island. The place to skydive in New Zealand. Between NZ$245 and NZ$575 depending on height and options.  edit
  • NZONE - the Ultimate Jump, 0800 376 796, [20]. Experience the thrill of skydiving in New Zealand with a tandem jump or accelerated freefall course above Queenstown or Rotorua, no prior skydive training needed, just a sense of adventure. From NZ$249.  edit

Europe

Netherlands

Parachuting in The Netherlands is governed by the KNVvL, division para [21]

Switzerland

  • Skydive. Take a dive from 4000 meters alone or tandem. Contact Andreas Knabe at the Parachuting School, tel 079 213 71 38, [23].

Middle East

Learn

Beginner courses

There are generally 3 ways to do your first jump.

  • Tandem. You jump strapped to an instructor who will do all the work. You just go along for the ride.  edit
  • Accelerated Freefall. Freefall from your very first jump. An instructor will jump with you to ensure that you do pull the canopy release.  edit
  • Static line. A static line connects your parachute to the plane. When you exit the plane at around 3500feet, the static line will pull your parachute free to deploy it. There is no freefall during a static line jump. and you do not have to take any action to deploy the parachute. You do however need to fly the parachute ones it has opened and land it yourself. Training is generally a full day course followed by your first solo jump. This is a good starting option for anyone interested in taking up the sport, as it is relatively inexpensive and you will have good canopy control by the time you make your first free fall jump. Most places will require you to do at least 8 static line jumps before you may progress to free fall.  edit

Get in

By plane

The dropzone will provide a plane to take you to jump altitude.

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