This month the sport we profile is not one for everyone, but incredibly challenging all the same: it is the daring sport of skydiving!
How does one become a Skydiving instructor? What is entailed?
You have to have done 500 jumps, pass a written, oral and practical examination, and be approved by a Chief Instructor. This also depends on what type of instructing you wish to do.How many jumps?
Depends on what type of instructor, ie AFF, S/L or Tandem, beween 200 and 500 jumps is the minimum.What cost is involved?
To become an instructor, the cost of the course can end up at around $1000, plus the cost of all your jumps. Each jump is on average about $20.What equipment costs?
The parachute rig itself can vary from $1000 secondhand to $6000 brand new.What kind of skydiving can one participate in?As a student you can do:
AFF (Accelerated Freefall): A weekend course, you jump from 10,000 -14,000 feet with 2 instructors hanging on to you.
S/L (Static Line): A weekend course, you jump from 3000 feet, when you let go of the plane, a line that is connected from the plane to your parachute, opens the parachute for you.
Tandem: Requires 10-15 minutes of training, then you're strapped onto the front of an instructor and off you go, from 10,000 - 14,000 feet. Tandem skydiving is a cool way to experience the excitement and adrenalin of freefall without actually having to learn the technical parts of the sport. If you just want to enjoy the experience, the views and take part in the Extreme Adventure without having to do anything then tandem skydiving is the one for you.How long does it take to land on the ground?
If you jump from 14,000 feet, you can freefall for around 70 seconds, then underneath the canopy can take anywhere from 1 minute - 5 minutes to get down depending on what height you opened your parachute up.What precautions does one need to take?
As an instructor, it's your job to look after the student, throughout the jump and on descent under canopy. With AFF, 2 instructors jump out hanging on to the student, should there be any problems, then the instructors do what is necessary at the time.If participating in the sport, but not as an instructor, what does one need to do to ensure safe diving in a solo jump?
Currency is the biggest safety tip in skydiving, not to let too much time lapse in between jumps, especially when a student. All jumps require you to wear an altimeter or a dytter. These devices tell you how high you are and when to pull your parachute. Parachutes these days can be fitted with a Cypres, this will open your reserve parachute at a predetermined height.. If you were knocked out in freefall, the Cypres would open your reserve for you.In a tandem jump?
As a person taking part: do as you are told by the instructor!!!
As an instructor: see above.How much does it cost?
The cost varies on where and what you do. A tandem jump can be anywhere from $240 - $400, S/L course around $300 and an AFF course around $430 - $500.Where can you do this?
Skydiving is done all around the world and in Australia.Benefits/great aspects of the sport?
Most people, once they have Skydived are able to overcome many other fears in their life, this can be public speaking, fear of heights, anything.What are the risks or dangers associated with Skydiving?
Obviously the parachute not opening! But in all cases there is always a reserve parachute to compensate such an unfortunate occurence. Landing can be dangerous if it is not done properly.Where can I get more information?
If in Victoria, (03) 9432-2419 or check your local yellow pages or do a search for skydiving on the Net.Any other information...
For experienced skydivers you can do:
4-way, 8-way or 16-way where 4, 8 or 16 people jump together and complete as many formations as they can within 35 seconds.
Freestyle - This is like aerial gymnastics.
Sky surfing - This is where you strap a snow board to your feet and surf the sky. Cool!
Camera - All competitions require a person to jump out with the competitors and film what they do.So if throwing yourself out of a plane tickles your fancy, then this sport is the one for you!! :)
- Michelle Palmer (email@example.com