Jumping out of an Airplane

In my first year of university I joined the parachute club. Being under 18 I had to have my parent’s permission in writing. I wonder what they thought; I’m sure they were anxious but they didn’t show it. After several weeks of Saturday practices on how to land and how to pack the chutes it was our turn to jump.

It was called at static line jump; our ripcord was fastened to the pilot’s seat so that as soon as we left the aircraft the chute opened. Just as well because I was so enthralled by the view that I may have forgotten to pull it. We were supposed to put both of our hands on the ropes that gave us some control over our movement but it was several seconds before I remembered to do so.

The experience of being 3,000 feet up with a 360 degree view and no engine noise was unique and I can recall it to this day. It was a clear day and I could see the fields, forests, rivers, and the airfield where we were based. After I’m not sure how long the earth gradually came up to meet me. I touched ground as we had practiced many times and then it was back to carefully packing the chutes again for the next round.

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