11/27/2007

I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane!

Good weekend. Spent Thanksgiving weekend with the inlaws, brother and sister in laws, and their many minions. We had a great house, aside from no heat on our floor, and great weather. The first day was 75, following days were in the high 40s/ low 50s. The kids played with their cousins a lot so I actually participated in some adult conversation (felt kinda weird) and played some online poker (free wifi rocks!).

The best part though, was getting to sky dive. We had planned and attempted the trip 2 and a half years ago for Dan's 30th birthday. After we were geared up, the clouds rolled in and they canceled the jump. Since we were driving past the "airport" on the way home and Dan was as well, we met up to jump.






Yes, that's the runway!



We pulled into the row of RVs and dirt field that claims to be Laurel Airport Sunday afternoon to a brisk 50 degrees and light cloud cover. We got geared up, signed about 17 pages of waivers (I kid you not), and met the instructors.





30 min later we had had our 5 min. training and were boarding a two prop plane that looked straight off the cover of one of Jimmy Buffet's albums. I kissed Amy and the kids goodbye, and boarded.








We literally had to sit on each others laps as they crammed about 16 of us into the back of this plane, pulled down the mini garage door on the side, and took off (all in a matter of 3 minutes).

Uncomfortably squished between two dudes, I figured we were just about as high as we needed to be after 15 minutes. The instructor then informed us we were only halfway. He pulled my straps tight one more time and began attaching himself to me in ways that should be reserved for a dungeon. 10 minutes later a green light came on and we were at 13,000 ft, ready to plummet back to earth.

The dudes in the front, solo jumpers, pulled up the door, counted to three, and jumped out. Woosh, they were gone in a millisecond, swept away like cartoon characters. 2 tandem groups went after and then we waddled up to the door. Surprisingly I was not at all nervous about jumping. The only thing I was worried about was not beding my legs high enough in the air. I put my feet on the edge of the door, crossed my arms, and the instructor leaned us forward.

Before I knew it we were out the door and falling very very fast. I felt my ears bubbling and popping (I was a bit congested) and icicles forming on my face. The wind was rushing by so fast but it didn't really feel like falling, not like a roller coaster anyway. More like just going really fast straight down. We fell like that for over a minute and then he pulled the shoot.





We abruptly stopped and then floated from there down like a feather. The view was incredible. You could see the curvature of the earth in 360 degrees. It was so calm and peaceful after such a rapid decent. The instructor let me control for a bit and showed me how to put us into a 2 g spin (not very comfortable, I like my brain in my head). A few more minutes and we were ready to land. there was a big gravel pit that we flew into. It was about like sliding into first in baseball. I was on the ground and Marc didn't have to follow through on his offer to scrap me up if things didn't work out.

3 Comments:

Blogger KingM said...

Sounds awesome, and yet...

I don't have any desire to do this. It's not a semi-phobia that I feel the need to overcome. :)

4:40 PM, December 01, 2007  
Blogger Jer said...

Dude, you're crazy.

You'll jump out of a plane no problem but getting a tattoo makes you light-headed.

7:02 PM, December 03, 2007  
Blogger Exvestigator said...

Actually I was fine getting the tattoo. I only got lightheaded when he was wiping the blood off of the fresh tattoo with a dry paper towel afterward.

8:47 PM, December 04, 2007  

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