Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sky Diving - a daring hobby

Sky diving is one of the most daring, interesting and challenging hobby of those who dare and have guts. Those who dare it, enjoy the experience of a lifetime and cherish the memory and excitement of each fall that they take.

Unlike other hobbies, which are generally restricted to lesser degree of danger, sky diving needs a lot of physical strength, stamina and of course “pre training” as jumping from heights much above the normal parachuting, a sky diver has to jump from a far higher height to enjoy the free fall – a fall without the parachute till the point where it becomes necessary to open the chute just in time to land safely on the ground.

The training “on ground” starts with parachutes, or even before that with dummy landing huts to learn the basics skills of landing on ground, called the PLF or the Para Landing Fall. You learn about parachutes, harnesses and altimeters beside other things. The active lessons start from the tandem sky diving under observation of a qualified instructor before one really goes up in a light aircraft to start the actual parachuting from a height of 3,500 feet AGL (above ground level). The normal parachuting is done through a static line which is attached to a strong point inside the aircraft. The static line allows opening of the chute automatically. Although there is a reserve chute still attached at the parachuter’s back, which one may have to activate if normal opening fails.

Once one is expert is handling chutes in the air, it is only then one can really venture into the fun of sky diving. The sky diving lessons also entail wind tunnel tests to ascertain your readiness for falling from abnormal heights. In sky diving courses, one is taught how to operate a ripcord to open the chute when one reaches almost 3,500 feet seeing from his altimeter.  But one doesn’t climb to higher heights straightaway, rather the course specified for sky diving take the students step by step upwards.  Normally the final height ceiling is around 10,000 feet or less. Professionals make venture anything higher, though.

The sky diving gear includes the following:-
  • Main and reserve parachutes
  • Altimeters, and audio altimeter
  • Helmets, head gear and eye goggles
  • Jump suits and clothing
  • Harness and container systems

You must, if have an access to, go through simulator training to see for yourself whether this rigorous and challenging hobby is for you or otherwise. However, be sure you are not suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes and certain neurological disorders which may cause of seizures as this may be very dangerous once you are in the free fall mode and any uncontrollable seizure may prevent you from activating the chute, which can be very fatal.

The experienced sky divers can venture falling down from high mountains, as seen in the video above, but that stage comes after lot of practice and training.

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