Parachute Skydiving—Learn the Basics
One can say Parachuting is the mother of the highly popular adventure sport - skydiving. These two are inseparable because without a parachute there can be no skydiving! Hence the term "parachute skydiving" has come into existence.
While it is not clear who first started the concept of parachute skydiving, Chinese history has some accounts of it. It appears that this idea could have come from the related invention of the kite. The renowned inventor Leonardo da Vinci developed a canopy-like drawing that looked like the modern day parachute. In the past many attempts were made to descent from tall buildings using parachutes. The credit for the first successful attempt goes to Andre-Jacques Garnerin who descended from a tall building using a balloon. Thus parachute skydiving was born.
Some very basic skills are a must before an enthusiast can prove his or her prowess in parachute skydiving. The four basics of parachute skydiving are: fundamental safety, free fall plan, parachute usage and manipulation and finally safe landing. Anyone who wants to defy gravity has to absorb these essentials before he or she is allowed to jump from a plane.
The fundamental safety is what it says - Fundamental. Understanding of the gadgets, gears, checking and cross checking them, following the right procedure of jumping from the plane, reacting with presence of mind in case of any emergency, timely and correct deployment of the parachute, managing a parachute failure without panicking, selecting the right landing site and of course landing safely.
The free fall plan, the second basic skill involves managing a stable position while falling at a speed of 120mph. This skill readies the jumper in opening the parachute at the right moment when the free fall rate is exhausted. A critical element is the maneuvering of the body, executing the turns in the sky which are critical to a safe landing, must be learned thoroughly by a parachute skydiving enthusiast.
The third basic skill in parachute skydiving is the ability to use and manipulate the parachute. The students learn the process of opening the parachute mid air as safely as they can. They are trained to fallback on the reserve chute in case the main chute fails to open. Timing is very important while maneuvering the parachute against the strong blow of the winds. This part also teaches the students about the basics of working of a parachute, its construction. The emphasis is on adopting the proper procedure in opening the chute.
Choosing the right landing site is the last of the basics. It is critical, one can ignore it if they enjoy landing up in a thick forest or in the open sea. The students must take the help of their instructors in choosing the right landing area if they want to land safely on their feet.
Like any other adventure sport - Parachute skydiving can be a thoroughly enjoyable experience if the basic skills are learnt well. The skills are essential not only for the thrills but also for protecting oneself while parachute skydiving.