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I’m ready to skydive again

  • Published
  • By Airman Megan Friedl
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Looking out from 8,500 feet in the air from a perfectly functioning airplane and deciding to jump out can be considered a crazy thing.

However, according to the United States Parachute Association, each year roughly a half million people across the U.S. safely and successfully jump out of an airplane for the first time on tandem skydives.

I experienced the jump myself for the first time June 29th. I've wanted to do this for years and finally got the chance through Outdoor Recreation. I signed up and paid for the trip online very easily, and Outdoor Recreation organized the trip through Gateway Skydiving Center in Greenville, Ill.

When I arrived at Gateway, my group was eagerly greeted by USPA rated instructor, Arnel Smajic.

We immediately began signing through pages of waivers and watched a brief video about the risks we were about to take. At that point some began to start feeling nervous about what they were getting themselves into, but I just became more excited.

After securing my harness, I got into the plane, and we gradually increased altitude. With the altimeter I wore I could tell how high I was. Soon we approached the height where we were going to jump. My instructor and I linked together, and then the door opened. The wind flew fast through the plane, and my instructor yelled "Ready, set, arch!" right before I jumped.

That adrenaline rush went through my entire body, and all I could do was scream. It's like that feeling you get when going down a roller-coaster, except so much stronger, and I was going at 120 mph. I felt a sense of freedom and euphoria.

After about 40 seconds of free fall, the signal was made, and I released the parachute. We got to spin a few times in the air and enjoy the float back to the ground before preparing to land. When asked how I felt after landing, I said "I feel amazing, and I'm ready to go do it again right now!"

People who have skydived make up one percent of the population. The price of a tandem skydive is $279 and static line is $234. If you would like to become a part of that small percent and experience the rush, Outdoor Recreation is scheduled to have their next trip to Gateway Skydiving Center July 20. To sign up for that trip contact Outdoor Recreation at 256-2067.