Monday, September 24, 2012

Tandem Sky Dive- The adrenaline rush

A few weeks back when my office colleague asked me if I would like to sky dive and I told him ‘why not?’, knowing  not in the least what I was up for. This ex army lad is quite capable of doing things out of this world and I am sure many of you have already experienced it. I believe Mark is quite effective in getting people to do things differently as soon my other colleagues and I discovered after realising we had signed up for an adventure of a lifetime. 

Jumping from plane

HA HA HA; for a minute remembering God

It was quite amazing to know that all of eight divers were diving for the first time. Each one of us had a different reason to dive today, it was an anniversary for a couple, 50th birthday for another person and we also had a banker with us who declared quite openly that he was there because his 16 year old son was diving and he didn’t want to appear chicken.

My first glimpse of the plane we were to be travelling in was rather unsettling. I had never flown in a one engine plane before.  My instructor told me that due to age and only one engine, they could not fly during strong winds, thunder or any of abnormal conditions. As well as this disturbing fact I also noticed that even the pilot was wearing a parachute! This was somewhat disconcerting but I felt it was too late to back out now! Albion airport has no traffic controller and all the planes (most of them are novice pilots following their hobby) communicate on the same radio frequency for use of runaway strip for landing and take-off. Therefore, after a few unsettling starts and stops eventually our plane was on the runaway, taking off successfully.

Once we were off the ground and relieved from this uncharacteristic take off I started to focus on the beauty outside. Wollongong and its sea line is truly blessed with natural beauty, it was so wonderful to see the view outside. Within the next ten minutes, we were at a height of 14000 ft and the pilot announced that we would be diving in the next five minutes. We all looked at each other pretending to be cool and reassuring each other that all was well. Meanwhile my insides were telling a different story and I realised that we had no control of the situation anymore.

Finally the pilot announced the jump. I was the fourth person to jump and I watched with horror as I witnessed the other three going down and the expressions on their faces. A true Kodak moment!
My turn finally came and Tom took me to the open gate where he took his jumping position while I was hanging halfway out the plane like a terrified little Joey!  After a few very long seconds on the gate we made the jump. Whooosh!!!! What an experience, falling down at a speed of approximately 220 Km/ hr. For a moment I was blank, but very quickly started to enjoy the fall. I do not have words to describe the experience. I can’t compare this with any of my previous experiences and maybe that is why you should try this. The free fall lasted 60 seconds but was long enough to really feel it and enjoy it. The best part of the dive was crossing the thin layer of clouds and witnessing the beautiful coastline below. Soon after, the parachute inflated and we started sailing downward at a leisurely pace.

Wind Pressure make you look funny

Beautiful view of Wollongong coastline

View of Wollongong coastline

My diving partner then allowed me to control the parachute for the next few minutes before he took back control in preparation for landing. It was a great feeling to swing the parachute in different directions and it gave me a feeling of controlling my own destiny. One thing I must say is that I could not take my eyes off the breathtaking view.

Landing was easy enough and fortunately, it was on my diving partners legs.I really admire the planning and preparation of Sydney Beach sky dive team, the whole event was executed extremely well.