"My skydiving instructor waved me over to get into position in the doorway. I shuffled along the cabin floor looking back at my friends who were grinning at the uncertain look on my face. It had been my idea so they decided it was only right I jumped first. Holding on to the frame where the door of the Cessna used to be, I edged out balancing on my left buttock,my entire right side out in the slipstream. I sat looking up and back into the cabin as I had been taught to help get into the correct arch position on exit.
My heart was racing with a blend of fear and excitement and I was ready to go. The smiling jumpmaster shouted over the wind and engine noise and produced a hook knife. He explained that if I got caught at the end of the static line I was not to worry. I should place my hands on my head and look at him to show I was ok. He would then use his little knife to cut me free and I should remember my emergency drill. Don't worry he said, it hardly ever happens.
He leaned out in front of me to check our position to the drop zone the signalled to the pilot who throttled right back to reduce prop wash for my exit.
I re positioned myself wondering if my nerve would hold. Suddenly I heard the word "GO!" and I felt a firm slap on my shoulder. I jumped without another thought and was almost overcome by the biggest surge of excitement I have ever felt.
The engine noise fell away and the wind and pounding blood in my ears took over. I felt myself tip up and the line brush the back of my helmet as the parachute was pulled out of the pack. They lied I thought, the position does not keep you stable. (It does I found out later I was doing it wrong.)
I suddenly remembered I was supposed to be counting, one thousand, two thousand, three thousand, four thousand, check canopy. I felt myself slow down, rotate upright and the harness support me. I looked up and there was a big round canopy as promised.
Near silence, birdsong, no wind, man what a rush! I looked down and I could see the instructor on the ground, I could hear them talking. The radio crackled in my ear reminding me of how to land. All too quickly I was down and I have very little memory of the rest of the day I was so high. I could not wait to go again but that would have to be another day...."
Many people think that skydiving is too expensive and does not happen near them. Well it is probably far less expensive than you think.
The Scottish Parachute Club is based at Strathallan in Perthshire and offers lessons and free fall experiences with an instructor strapped to you.
Tandem Jumps at Strathallan cost about £280 and Static Line Courses are £160. Considering how extremely exhilarating it is, I think that these prices are reasonable.
Also, if are jumping to raise money for charity then you can jump for free! There are charities who will arrange the course for you if you raise enough money in sponsorship for them.
The minimum age on all skydiving jumps is 16. There are also weight limits. People over 40 must get a certificate from their doctor to make sure it is safe for them to make the jump. People over 50 years old with no previous skydiving experience will probably not be allowed to jump so don’t leave it too late!
Whether you do it once as a birthday treat, make it a fun hobby or even do it to raise money for charity, skydiving is an amazing experience. The rush can last for days but the memory will be with you for ever.
Skydiving is a way to experience an outstanding view that only birds usually get to see. It is not as expensive as getting an aeroplane, glider or microlight can be but more than that it is a whole different way to fly.
It is not usually possible to skydive over your local area, as there are limits to where you can jump. It is completely prohibited to skydive through controlled airspace unless there is a special event or show on and prior permission has been obtained by the organiser.
Instructions on how to use your parachute will be given to you by your instructor on the day of your dive in a tandem jump. A static line course is usually over a weekend.
The main downside to skydiving in Scotland is that the weather can be a bit of a persistent nuisance. Cloud base, that is the height of the clouds above the ground and wind speed both play a huge part in that.
You can do the training whatever the weather but the decision on whether to fly or not is down to the instructors. All we can really do is hope for the best! If you are not able to complete the jump due to the weather it is normal to arrange another date to come back and complete it. There might be a brief refresher test to make sure you have remembered what you have been taught just before you go.
Safety is of the utmost importance and the methods and equipment used leave nothing to chance.
If you have been skydiving recently, then why not contact us and tell everyone about it? Click here. Skydiving to home page.