Sky Diving, the best way of voluntarily being thrown out of an airplane. And that’s not even the craziest part! You will be introduced to some person with a parachute and he or she would actually be one of the most important individuals you will be meeting in your life. Their only responsibility is to throw you out of an airplane and not let you die, which is a lot harder than it actually sounds.
One of the most trivialized parts of sky diving is the 30 to 60 seconds of free fall wherein you are just dragging and falling, looking down and around at whatever there is. In such cases, the scenery and landscape is a big deal, because you will be remembering this minute your entire life and so will your action camera. However, if you wish to jump solo by taking a course well then your focus should be on the instructions and yourself and not the scenery around you. Just saying!
As said, “Those who don’t jump will never fly”- Leena Ahmad
The right season to skydive is anytime and anywhere when there are clear skies (for anywhere obviously one needs the DGCA and airfields permission, just saying). That will lead to a safer jump with an obvious advantage of getting the perfect view around. Thankfully, apart from the monsoon season, skies in India are largely clear throughout the summer and winter seasons.
Sky diving is conducted usually near places that have a private airport. Clearances and permits are necessary from DGCA and the airport authorities for conducting Sky Diving to check the air worthiness and the operational capability of not only the Sky Diving school but also the location where they are operating. Apart from this, it is necessary for a school to adhere to safety guidelines set by a governing body. In India due to lack of rules governing the sport, most of the Sky Diving schools adhere to the guidelines of United States Parachute Association.
Following are a few locations which have schools operating there:
Mysore or Mysuru has an operational private airport. It being a tourist destination, there a few schools are operating now, but aren’t consistent with the season. While diving you will get to see forest patches, lakes, hills around, distant temples (people with extremely sharp vision) and obviously the city too. Contact us to know more!
With an operational airport, no airlines currently operate due to proximity to Delhi airport. IndianAir force however, has their paratrooper training school which at one point was open for civilians too. Right now, no private schools operate here.
Aligarh too has a functioning private airfield where we do have a jump school operating out of here. This is one of the places to learn or experience Sky Diving in India. One can see the hazy green fields and the city itself.
There are other spots like Narnaul, Haryana and Pondicherry which operate but are seasonal in nature.
In India, one can do the following jumps
The tandem jump is the only way to truly experience skydiving without the need to undergo training. Look around, breathe in and experience the adrenaline rush every second of the jump.
Static Line Jumps:
For those looking to jump solo the first time, static line jumps are the answer. The dive will be for a very short span before the parachute opens automatically.
Both the Tandem jumps and the static line jumps require 3-4 hours of on the ground training before getting ready to dive.
Accelerated Free Fall:
To become a Solo Jumper, one can take up a course and complete all the 8 levels in accelerated free fall (AFF). How to get out of the airplane, position your body with respect to ground, deploying a parachute and flying it towards a drop zone and also preparing yourself in case things don’t go right. Head to the course and experience section to know more.
The Indian market has still not reached its potential with just a few veterans making their name in the world of Skydiving. That’s the reason with just a handful of schools operating; advanced courses mentioned below haven’t been introduced yet.
Freeflying is the discipline where we learn to fly our bodies in all orientations and on all axis – not just belly to Earth. This means you’ll see freeflyers flying in head up, seated or standing positions. You may see them flying ‘head down’ (just upside down). Often, they combine all of this into impressive displays, or simply fly around with each other in these positions.
Formation skydiving is probably the type you’re most used to seeing. This is where we fall in a belly-to-earth position (as you do on a tandem skydive) and create shapes – or formations – by holding on to one another’s arms and legs.
The wingsuit is all in one suit that has wings, which the skydiver wears in order to control their descent rate and direction. Wingsuiters tend to spend longer in the air as they are traveling more horizontally. Wingsuiting has hardly gained any momentum in India due to the degree of expertise required. Apart from a few India Airforce and Indian Army officials, there are hardly any wingsuit athletes. One needs to have 200 jumps to commandeer a wingsuit.
Believe or not, Da Vinci was the one who first conceived the idea of parachutes in his writings and the first jump, was made by a French professor Andre Jacques Garnerin from a hot air balloon.
Now one can jump from an aircraft, helicopter, gas balloons and even from a cliff! You must read about the skydiver and BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner who at one point of time held a world record in diving from the highest point.
Post the world war era, skydiving gained momentum as a recreational sport. In India too, somewhere in the late 90s, the Para brigade of the Indian army started developing the airstrip in Agra for training the elite forces of Para Regiment. After the development of the facility, turned out that it was not being used up to its capacity. Also, this was the time when the Indian Army’s adventure wing was quite active. So they decided to train civilians too with the hope that Sky Diving as an adventure sport picks up in India.
There are worldwide competitions happening in accelerated free fall and other Skydiving styles. We too are gearing up with the Aeroclub of India trying to expand its footprint as a premier Aerosport organization.
Since one wouldn’t want to die in his own boots, here are some general do’s and don’ts to be kept in mind before opting to skydive:
1. Your clothes speak volumes about you, even while sky diving. Wearing sleeveless tanks and shorts is not the right choice. Wear things that are comfortable and cover your body in a proper fitting because it’s going to be cold up there. Similarly, ladies, skirts, and heels are a no go. Preferably wear athletic clothing.
2. The harness you would be in could be a cause for a certain discomfort especially for the gentlemen out there. You could try wearing a supporter that one wears while playing outdoors.
3. Being medically, mentally and physically fit is important. People with heart conditions and one’s over a 100 kilos might not be fit for diving. Those who are under medication must carry a fitness certificate issued by a doctor or medical agency.
4. Also, climatic conditions change swiftly on the ground, at the location. Wind Speed, weather and visibility are crucial when it comes to diving safely. Your jump will obviously be rescheduled in the event that the weather condition deteriorates.
Equipments required for SkyDiving are usually provided by the school but still one should wear warm comfortable clothes along with sports shoes. Check the corresponding image for more details of equipments used in Skydiving.