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How to Skydive

How to skydive…

Admit it, daredevil—you’ve been waiting to fly since the day you were born.   Find a great instructor, throw on that jumpsuit, and get ready for freefall!

To complete this How-To you will need:

To be 18 or older and  no heavier than 220 lbs
An accredited, reputable jump school such as Skydive East Tennessee
Good health
Photo I.D.
$270 for your Ground School (The First Jump Course) and your first skydive
Attentiveness
A sense of adventure

Warning: Skydiving can be extremely dangerous. Investigate your skydiving school thoroughly, and consult a doctor to make sure you’re medically fit to jump.

Step 1: Find your school

Skydive East Tennessee is the only US Parachute Association TRANING CENTER in East Tennessee.
Tip: Skydiving schools are sometimes referred to as “drop zones” or ”dz’s”.

Step 2: Be healthy

You need to be in good shape, which means you shouldn’t be taking any medications that affect coordination or decision-making process. If you have a pre-existing condition, consult the jump school to see if they think they can work with you. Also, don’t scuba dive or donate blood for at least 48 hours, and don’t drink alcohol for at least 8 hours before your jump date.

Tip: If you suffer from obesity, epilepsy, alcohol or drug addiction, heart disease, or a tendency to black out, choose a different sport.

Step 3: Pick a day

Pick a day and book it. You may be asked to put down a deposit in advance, and to call to confirm your reservation.

Step 4: Prepare for your jump

On the day of your jump, eat a small meal before heading to the drop zone. Wear comfortable clothing that can fit under a jumpsuit and tennis shoes; and avoid overly tight or baggy clothing, flip-flops, and high heels. Also, if there’s any inclement weather, you may need to wait a little while, so bring something to keep yourself occupied.

Step 5: Fill out the forms

At the school, you’ll be asked to provide I.D. and review and sign several legal forms. Usually, these documents certify that you understand the risk you’re about to take, and state that you waive the right to blame the school if anything goes awry. These forms look scary, but they’re fairly standard. Read them through, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Step 6: Pay up

Your first skydive with an instructor will cost $270 (combined cost of the First Jump Course and your first skydive), so make sure you’ve got the resources to pay before you go.

Tip: You may also pay more if you’d like to get a DVD of your jump.

Step 7: Go in tandem

If its your first skydive don’t expect to go solo. It’s likely that, for your first dive, you’ll go as a tandem where you’re strapped to the front of an instructor. It’s still super exciting, and much less dangerous since your instructor’s right there to help.

Step 8: Learn the ropes

Before you head up, you’ll be given an orientation class, where you’ll spend time getting comfortable with the gear, the terminology, what to expect, how to react, and what signals to look for. Each school’s instruction is a little different, so even if you think you know what’s going on, pay close attention.

Step 9: Suit up and head out

Once you’re appropriately attired with a jumpsuit, a harness—which will hook up to your instructor—and goggles or glasses, you’re ready to board your flight.

Step 10: Jump

When the moment’s right, your instructor will let you know that it’s time to jump. Since your plane will ascend to a height between 10,000 and 14,000 feet, you’ll enjoy as much as 65 seconds of total freefall before your tandem buddy signals you to pull the rip cord, which will deploy the parachute and slow your fall.

Step 11: Land

Once you’re on the ground, you’ll sign a logbook, proving that you completed a training dive. It’s official—you’ve made your first jump!

… adapted from this video on YouTube:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioThxCEGHpg

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