By Gill Davies, Helmores
Firstly, it was an amazing experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone. It hasn’t cured my fear of heights but I would definitely do a skydive again, in a heartbeat! The current total raised is £1,122 for BHF, which I’m so pleased with. I’ve been feeling so nervous about it for weeks now that by the time the actual day arrived, I felt unusually calm about it all. My tandem instructor had just under 11,000 skydives under his belt, so I felt in very good hands.
We had a brief safety talk, where we talked about what happened in the ascent up in the plane, how we actually jumped out of the plane and then how we safely landed. To be honest, there wasn’t too much to learn, as the instructors do all of the work for you. We were initially going to jump from 10,000 and this would allowed us to have a 30 second freefall and then around 5 minutes once the parachute had opened. We were, quite easily, talked into jumping from 15,000 feet instead, allowing us a 60 second freefall. This was definitely the right decision.
Then we had some free time to watch the people booked in before us to do their jumps and, still, I didn’t feel nervous about it. Our names were called and we got into our (very attractive) jumpsuits and hats! We met our instructors who would be doing the tandem jump with us and walked over to the plane. The plane just consisted of two long benches and an ‘up and over door’ to close the plane! This door was completely see through! My instructor sat behind me and I had to slide along the bench to sit in front of him. He attached himself loosely to my harness and then we could just sit back and enjoy the ascent to 15,000! As we went higher in the plane, my instructor pointed out the views and various locations. We could see all the way over to Somerset and South Wales. The views were just incredible and made me feel so incredibly lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world. At around 10,000 feet the instructor tightened the straps on the harness, so we were ready to go. Not at any point, did I feel that something might go wrong. I had complete and utter faith in my instructor and hat really helped with enjoying the experience.
When we got to 15,000, a green light appeared over the dor and it was out time to go. We slid towards the door, got in position and jumped! I can’t even find the words to describe the feeling as you jumped out of a plane at 15,000! It didn’t feel like a plummeting sensation at all but more like you were held up by the air around you and just floating. You could feel the air rushing past you and it was really noisy and cold, yet it didn’t seem like you were falling at around 120-150mph! We were free falling for 1 minutes, which literally just felt like a few seconds, then the parachute opened and everything was silent. It was calm, silent and utterly beautiful. I was shown how to control the parachute and turn it from left to right and was just able to enjoy the views. It took around 5 minutes to get to the ground, which again just felt like moments. I remember just saying how amazing it all was, over and over again. We landed on the ground and it was all over. If it had been offered to me, then I would have got straight back in that plane to do it all over again. Just incredible.