As we move into 2018, new resolutions and goals are set to keep ourselves moving forward and to keep life interesting. On the 30th of December 2017 I headed down to Picton Skydiving to complete a solo sky diving course.
After one full day of ground training, along with passing 80 question multiple choice exam which required a pass mark of 90%, I had completed the theory component of the solo skydiving course.
The next morning at 7am, I was booked into jumping out of a plane at 14,000 feet with my own parachute and an instructor by my side.
The 31st of December was a day I’ll never forget, I remember it being close to 30 degrees by 7am, as well as constantly swotting flies from my face, while listening to an instructor brief me on how to throw myself out of a moving plane.
The plane ride up was daunting and surreal. A moment I can only describe as “how did I get myself into this situation”. I had an altimeter strapped to my wrist and watched it increase as the plane ascended.
At 14,000 feet, the doors opened and my instructor and I were the first to exit the plane. Our exit was smooth and executed perfectly. I arched in the solo free fall position, with my instructor holding onto the handle of my jump suit. We began accelerating towards the earth, free falling at 1,000 feet per the first 10 seconds and after that, 1,000 feet for every five seconds, which was when we hit our terminal velocity of around 220km/hour.
After free falling 10,000 feet in 60 seconds, I pulled my parachute, looked up to check there were no line twists and saw a perfect parachute. A feeling of relief combined with adrenaline ran through my body. However, now it was time to steer my parachute towards the target drop zone. This was challenging as cross winds were interfering with my approach to the final leg of the landing. With steering input and using the up winds to slow myself down, I was able to make a perfect landing. It was such a relief to be back on the ground.
Since that initial jump, I’ve had two more and soon I will be exiting planes solo with no assistance from instructors. I want to explore this sport and see where it takes me. I definitely recommend this experience to anyone reading, as it forces you to step outside your comfort zone and to achieve things that most people wouldn’t dare to do.