How I began Skydiving

RAPS

I began skydiving whilst Studying at the University of Liverpool, after I found out I was able to take a RAPS Solo Skydiving course for free! I'd also gotten a bit bored of golf. All I had to do was raise over £500 through sponsorship and charitable donations, and being a Student I was used to scrounging so it was easy :)

My first jump was in July 2003, here is a link to a video of some of my friends who did the same RAPS course a year later...


Unfortunately I struggled with the RAPS course. The weather in the UK makes things difficult, you really need to be jumping every weekend to stay consistent. With gaps of up to a month I kept ending up back at square one.

The solution? AFF in Spain! This is a rapid progression course, where each jump is from full altitude (16000ft), and there are instructors in the air with you telling you what to do...

AFF went very well for me. I passed every level with flying colours :)

Next I decided to do the FS1 course, also in Spain. This teaches you how to freefall with groups of people, and led on to me being able to Skydive with my friends, and my Fiance!



I arrived back in the UK to go jumping at my home Dropzone, but unfortunately the plane had been involved in an accident. It crashed into another plane mid-air, tore of half of its undercarriage, and had to do an emergency landing...

Before the crash...

After the crash...

This story has a much sadder side though, as the other plane was completely destroyed killing the pilot and his passenger. Here is a image of the actual aircraft, and you can see in the small embedded image the remains of same the aircraft after the impact.

Whilst our plane was being repaired I visited one of the UK's indoor skydiving centre's, Airkix. Here is a video of me in action, and I'm sorry the footage is a bit choppy! I'd recommend Airkix to anyone, it's not just for Skydivers...

Would you jump out of a plane?

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Comments 11 comments

pavman 7 years ago

too true about the UK weather!


Helen 7 years ago

Loving it! You and the mrs need to come back to the sport. And bring your loverly little man! I'll watch him while you jump!


Steve 7 years ago

thats a nice summary of the past few years, also glad to see i made onto the video!


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California

I'm not sure about skydiving, but Airkix sure looks fun!


Dame Scribe profile image

Dame Scribe 7 years ago from Canada

I almost started SD back in my 20's also but my boys cried about it so I didn't and today, much as I would love the idea I am terrified of heights, lol


skydiver profile image

skydiver 7 years ago from UK Author

I know a number of Skydivers who have a fear of heights! It doesn't appear to be an issue, and I'm not too good with heights myself to be honest :) You are so high up its a bit like looking at a map.

Most people with a fear of heights don't seem to be able to watch whilst other people are jumping out, but when it comes to doing it for themselves they can climb out the plane no problem. Very strange indeed!


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Paraglider 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Hi Skydiver - I'm not a paraglider for real. It's something I wish I'd done but I'm not about to take it up at 57 years old. Very sorry to read about the aerial accident. We have paragliders flying most weekends from the Malvern Hills where I live. Great to watch.


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skydiver 7 years ago from UK Author

These things come with the territory unfortunately. If you get a buzz from swimming or a round of golf then do that instead :) I'm a dad now so I've not skydived in around 12 months, but paragliding looks a cheaper, safer & probably nearly as exciting too.


William McCracken 6 years ago

Funny story to share: I made my first static jump back in 1970 on a very windy March day at a drop zone with electrical wires beside the ready shack that was exactly next to an interstate highway. Last thing I recall about that first jump was sitting on a pile of chute packs in front of the ready shack.

Woke up about a month later in a hospital w third-degree burns on my left side and leg, four cardiac arrests, and no sense of smell and complete retrograde amnesia.

What I was told happened was I got a good chute, but a gust of wind hit me as I flared (as much as you could with a T-10) pulling the chute over the high tension line by the DZ. Chute still had the wind so it dragged me up where I gapped the wires and BZZZT, I'm told that was almost all shFirst jump was in 1970; seconde wrote for yours truely. And that's all I knew about it for 25 years until I went for my second jump.

I'd told the jumpmaster what happened to me so many moons before then gone through the PLF, reserve and tangled line refreshers when this jumper came up to me and led off with, "The last time I saw you you were dead and on fire."

Hell of a way to open a conversation.

Don't recall this guys name nor how many jumps he had in '95, but the day I hit the wire was the day he was doing his first static, too. As I was coming down he and another plebe were getting into a Cessna with their jumpmaster. He told me that I caught fire when I hit the wire, then fell off and landed on my head--all of which I'd heard.

What I hadn't heard was that I layed there cooking for awhile before they could put me out.

So, looking across the dirt runway at me, the other newbie jumping with this guy, blurted out, "Is he okay?" to which the jumpmaster replied, "No. He's dead. Come on let's go."

Well, go they did. Both landed. No problems. And I was gone from the field by the time they hit.

Now I had to do that second jump, but, as I listened to his tale, I couldn't help but wonder if courage or the sheer insanity of youth motivated the middle-aged man in front of me to jump on a day when the wind was hitting 18 knots and an allegedly dead guy was burning up on the ground right in front of him. If my instructor had told me to get on that plane, I'd catch the next one.

The week after I jumped, a girl landed on the highway and a semi hit her, then, the FAA--in it's infinite wisdom-- decided the DZ they'd certified probably wasn't the best place to be jumping.

So that's my skydiving story. I'm 60 now. Did my first jump which I don't remeber, and the second that was a great jump. Came in for a stand up, popped my capewells and walked away and haven't felt the least desire to go do it again.


JordanM 6 years ago from Glasgow

Which is your home DZ? I recognise those planes.....


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skydiver 5 years ago from UK Author

The home DZ was Cark

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