Re: [climber71] Ways to improve your Skydiving Experience.
In reply to:
What other ways have you found to help to increase your understanding of Skydiving?
Asking this question is a great start. First and foremost, listen to your instructors at the DZ. They'll be guiding you through a very well designed student program. Things you might find helpful to supplement this could include:
Show up at the DZ well rested and having eaten a good breakfast -- very important to learning and performance. I do 20 minutes of stretching exercises before leaving for the DZ as it helps me focus and gets my old bones moving (a little).
The SIM is, obviously, an excellent source of knowledge but it's a little dry to read through. A great supplement is Tom Buchan's book "Jump! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy." A wonderful, easy read that I highly recommend, available here: http://www.amazon.com/...n-Easy/dp/0071410686
Understanding weather is critical to all aviation, especially skydiving. Here's a free download of the FAA's classic "Aviation Weather" book. This reads as a textbook, but it is free. Most applicable chapter is #4: "wind." http://www.aviationweather.ws/
Once you start studying weather you'll want better and more forecast data. I highly recommend this app: http://www.airwx.com/
Lastly, there is great body of general aviation knowledge and training out there that can help increase your understanding of skydiving. Specifically I recommend taking an intro Sailplane (glider) lesson. These cost less than $100. Tell the flight instructor that you'r studying to be a skydiver and that you'r like to learn about: - pre-flight procedures - the atmosphere (soaring is a great way to feel all the things you can't see in the air) - landing patterns. (notice how precise the downwind / base / final legs are)