It is a fact that skydiving is one of the most thrilling sports! Jumping out of a flying plane is insane. It is either for recreational purposes or competitive events. Either way, the sensation of falling and flying will get your adrenaline pumping.
Skydiving can be done individually as well as with a group of people. Usually, skydives are carried out from around 12,500 feet (4,000 meters), offering 40 to 50 seconds of freefall time. Higher altitude is possible, but that’s reserved for people who dare to do the extreme because of the extra risks.
This insane sport will make you feel alive. There are still more things about skydiving that you may not know before. So, before you try skydiving, or if you are afraid of height but curious, just sit comfortably and read these skydiving facts that we made for you!
1. Skydiving Is Different from Parachuting
Some of you might be wondering, are skydiving and parachuting the same thing? After all, both are considered extreme sports and use parachutes to land. But actually, they are two different things.
Although both require a parachute, there is a difference in deployment timing. In parachuting, you will need to deploy the parachute immediately after jumping from a plane. While skydiving, the person can experience freefall for one or more minutes before the parachute is deployed.
Besides, usually, skydiving is done at a higher altitude than parachuting. Skydivers want to experience the freefall longer. Therefore, people often think that skydiving is more advanced than parachuting.
2. The First Skydiving Jump Succeeded Without Injury
André-Jacques Garnerin is a French balloonist who invented the frameless parachute and became the first person to do skydiving in this world. Garnerin successfully jumped on October 22, 1797, from a hydrogen balloon more than 3,000 feet above Paris without injury using his parachute.
His wife, Jeanne-Genevieve, was able to jump without injury in 1799 and, thus, became the world’s first female skydiver. This fact shows you that skydiving is for everyone!
3. The World’s Record for the Highest Skydiving Held by Google Executive
Alan Eustace, Google Executive, has broken the world’s record for the Highest Skydiving at 41,420 meters (135,892.39 feet) from a large helium balloon. He did this on Friday, October 24, 2014.
As a result, he surpassed the previous record of 38,969.4 meters (127,852 feet) held by Felix Baumgartner, a daredevil and BASE jumper from Austria.
Though Eustace became the holder of this record, he still could not beat Baumgartner’s record for the fastest speed in skydiving. After all, he only fell at 1,300 km/h, slightly slower than Baumgartner’s fastest speed of 1,357.6 km/h. It took four minutes and 27 seconds for Eustace to land on Earth.
4. Luke Aikins Had Done About 18,000 Skydives in His Lifetime
A daredevil from the USA, Luke Aikins, set a new record for the world’s highest skydive without a parachute on July 30, 2016, in Simi Valley, California. The 42-year-old man jumped from 25,000 feet (7600 meters) in height from a plane without a parachute or a wingsuit.
Aikins was only equipped with a GPS unit that linked up to the 10,000 sqft safety net he needed to land to survive the jump. Before doing this life-threatening act, he had done about 18,000 skydives and spent a year and a half practicing. The fact that he did it and survived is definitely a skydiving miracle!
5. 400 Skydivers Make the Largest Skydiving Formation Ever
There were 400 skydivers from around the world gathered in Thailand on February 8, 2006, to build a new record for the largest skydiving formation in the world ever. This surpassed the previous record, which involved 357 skydivers, in the same country in 2004.
To make this happen, it took the resources of an entire air force, 300 tons of Jet-A, a trainload of oxygen bottles, and the determined endurance of a marathon runner. All the skydivers linked their hands for more than four seconds during freefall from 4 C-130s at 24,000 feet (7315.2 meters).
6. The Largest Canopy Formation
On November 21, 2007, a new insane skydive world record was made. It is the largest canopy formation ever! The formation consisted of 100 skydivers from 14 countries and was formed by an international team over Lake Wales, USA. If you compare this to the largest skydiving formation, the number is just a quarter of it.
But, this is still no less amazing considering the 100 parachutes flying towards each other in the shape of a diamond. Each skydiver needs to be very coordinated to perform this stun. They need to hover above or below each other to create the formation. They use their hand to hold each other once they jump at 21,000 feet.
The size of the diamond was about 200 feet by 200 feet, equal to a 747 jet or a football field. The weight of this formation itself is 20,388 pounds, equal to 6 Ford Mustangs.
7. The Largest Vertical Skydiving Formation Resembles a Giant Flower
The world’s largest vertical skydiving formation was created in 2015 above the sky of Chicago. This record included 164 skydivers, and it took them just 13 attempts to succeed. With the speed of up to 240 mph, this exceeded the previous record set by 138 skydivers in 2012.
Furthermore, the formation resembled a giant flower. It floated above the rural drop zone in Ottawa for a few seconds before the flyers broke away, and deployed their parachutes. When doing this, the skydivers need to jump at the right place and time and at an altitude of 19,700 feet.
8. This Skydiver Celebrated His 50th Birthday by Making a New Record
If you want to celebrate your birthday differently, you can follow what Jay Stokes did. This Special Force veteran celebrated his 50th birthday by jumping out of an airplane 640 times.
He did this in 24 hours on 8 and 9 September 2006 above Greensburg Municipal Airport. He successfully broke his own world record of 534 jumps. By our calculation, Stokes only needs 2 minutes and 15 seconds for a single jump. The fact that he celebrated his life through death-defying skydives is very extreme!
9. The Oldest Skydiver is a 103 Years Old Grandpa
In the USA, the minimum age to be able to skydive is 18 years old. But fortunately, there is no maximum age limit. A centenarian, Alfred “Al” Blaschke, did a skydive when he was 103 years and 181 days old. Consequently, he broke the Guinness World Record for the oldest skydiver.
His first skydive in 2017 was done to celebrate his 100th birthday, and he swore he would do another to celebrate his twin grandsons’ college graduations. If your grandparents are daredevils, you can ask them to join you in skydiving. Who knows? Maybe they could be the next Alfred.
10. We Cannot Communicate While Skydiving
Don’t be fooled by the scenes in the movie that made you think it is possible to talk with each other while you are skydiving. You can chat, yes. But it is obviously impossible to have a long conversation up there. This is because the rushing wind at more than 120 mph is just too loud and will cover any other noise.
Perhaps, you wouldn’t even hear the music you are listening to even if you were wearing your headphones. Skydivers communicate using facial expressions and hand gestures, so don’t forget to practice with your skydiving partner before you go.
11. You Need to Have Done At Least 200 Jumps to Become A Skydiving Photographer
You may find a bunch of extraordinary skydiving photographs on the internet. Of course, those are not the work of ordinary people but the results of shots from professional photographers. But did you know? To become a skydiving photographer, you need to have done at least 200 jumps.
This is because you have to hone the art of flying your body, using your arms and legs at speeds over 120 mph. Furthermore, It is imperative to avoid contact with the subject or formation when flying with the camera.
Moreover, skydiving photographers use a different method than regular photographers. For instance, they use their mouth to trigger the shutter. They also need to keep the steadiness of their body and discover the proper distance with the object they want to shoot. Now that you’ve learned some facts about skydiving photographers, do you want to be one?
12. More People Die in Motor Vehicle Crashes Than in Skydiving
Often, people are afraid of skydiving because they think they would die while doing it. But despite the risks that many people worry about, skydiving can be done safely with proper preparation and good judgment. Moreover, technology makes significant improvements to equipment. Hence, it is a fact that skydiving has become safer than ever before.
According to the USPA statistics, 10 fatal skydiving accidents happened in 2021, which made the lowest year record with 0.28 fatalities per 100,000 jumps. This makes skydiving safer than driving as the death rate of people from motor vehicle crashes is 1 fatality per 101.
13. The Rush of Skydiving Is Like Drugs, It Is Addictive!
Only a handful of people have ever skydived, but most must have done it more than once. They, especially those who enjoy the thrill of skydiving, want to do this repeatedly, no matter how many times they have done it.
When someone jumps from a plane, their body releases endorphins and serotonin that can make them feel happier and numbs their ability to feel pain. The associated feelings are almost drug-like in their effects, causing people to seek out their next adrenaline fix.
Besides, skydiving is considered a competitive sport too. A skydiver will get a remarkable sense of achievement. Thus they want to set a new record for themselves.
14. It Costs You $25,000 at the Minimum to Jump From the World’s Tallest Mountain
It is a fact that skydiving is one of the most expensive sports. However, don’t be surprised that you need to spend at least $25,000 to do this sport from the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest. And it doesn’t stop there. After booking such a costly jump, you need to wait for about six months as the queue of people who want to do the Everest skydive is interminable.
The price is actually very reasonable. After all, aside from jumping at an altitude of 29,500 feet, you will be experiencing many other incredible things, such as seeing the most scenic views of the mighty Himalayas. You will also experience the rare oxygen jump and enjoy an 11-day trek through Nepal.
15. It Is Possible to Skydive in Winter
You don’t have to think much about the right time to do skydiving because you can do this sport all year round, even in winter! In fact, jumping out of a plane in winter is more exciting than doing this in other seasons for adrenaline junkies.
Still, you need to choose the right place before doing this. Some areas prohibit you from skydiving in winter due to extreme temperatures. In addition, please make sure to dress appropriately. You need to wear a base layer of clothing to keep your core warm and then layer up with several other pieces of clothing. Always put safety first before looking cool, okay?
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