Skydiving - Brian Fairlie Final Draft One last glance over...

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1 Brian Fairlie 11/09/05 Final Draft One last glance over the edge of the ramp, the ground seems to be miles away, but then you realize the truth. It is over three miles to be exact! No time is given to think it over, because by the time the edge is reached, the free fall begins. The biggest rush of a lifetime begins and the adrenaline is reported to last for weeks. Welcome to the world of skydiving! Wendy Ruderman puts it best when she says that “there are two types of people in the world: those who wouldn’t dare jump out of an airplane unless it were on fire, and those who fling themselves out of one at 14,000 feet...for the sheer thrill of it.” Skydiving, is one of the world’s most dangerous sports. The few who can muster the courage to jump are some of the most extreme, thrill seeking people in the world. The road to become a certified skydiver is an expensive, but certainly worth the cost. One needs a total of twenty-five jumps to become certified. The path towards certification begins with the seven instructor-supervised jumps. The first four consist of tandem progression jumps. According to the USPA (United States Parachute Association), tandem skydive means the instructor will supervise the trainee as a single, individual task is completed on every jump. One the first jump, the trainee practices pulling the rip cord. The next three jumps cover maintaining altitude awareness, controlling the canopy (parachute), and freefall positioning. The fifth and sixth jumps are Accelerated Freefall (AFF) jumps, where the instructor holds onto the trainee’s harness during freefall, but is not attached. The trainee practices piloting the canopy and landing on their own during these two jumps, all the while under close
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supervision from two instructors. On the seventh jump, the instructor accompanies the trainee,
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