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omrig102

Why and how did you start skydiving?

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I broke my ACL (left knee) while snowboarding. I have been involved in many outdoor sports like windsufing, kiteboarding, sailing, trekking, climbing, running...

After recovering from the injury I decided to try a sport that didn´t put too much stress on my knee. I saw that landings can be as easy as walking down a stair so I decided to spend the money saved throughout my vacation time. I did my AFF course and life changed from that moment on :)

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Was fascinated by it on the X-games in the late 90's. When I got to college (ERAU) in 2001, they had a skydiving club that jumped at Deland and it was relatively cheap. Did AFF and my first ~20 jumps there, then didn't jump again for almost 10 years- busy with career moves, mainly. Kind of wish I hadn't taken such a long break, but oh well. Got back into it in 2011.

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I did my first six jumps when I was 18yrs old about to graduate high school. Then didn't jump for eight years. I got back into it in 2013 and can't believe I waited that long. Got my A licence. School, Marriage, Kids and career I guess. If i was more wealthy, I would have done nothing else for the rest of my life after that first jump except skydive until I couldn't anymore! I did it to be that bad ass senior at High School. Little did I know it would be the greatest thing ever.
Kyle Batchelor

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Did a tandem because I've always just wanted to do it just to say I did and seeing that a friend tried it pushed me to just go for it. Then someone I knew wanted to go because they heard I did it so I went again with them the next week. Then another friend and a family member wanted to try it so I went for a third time the week after that. Then I couldn't stop thinking about it so I went back for a fourth week in a row and some people recognized me by that point and just convinced me to start the program and get licensed and they just happened to be doing a ground school that day so I did my first AFP jump and groundschool that day and now can't imagine myself stopping lol

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Back during the late 1970s, I heard rumours - through my local Army Reserve regiment - about how tough para-troopers were. I applied for the Canadian Army Basic Parachutist Course 3 years in a row. Only the colonel's son and one athletic Corporal went to jump school.

When the local civilian skydiving school posted fliers about an FJC, I spent a Saturday in class. I did six static-line jumps on military-surplus rounds.
A couple of years later, I spent the summer at Air Force technical school in CFB Borden. On weekends, I hitch-hiked to the DZ at Arthur, Ontario, did 50 jumps and earned my A License.
That set a pattern for dozens of other accomplishments. Every time the Canadian Armed Forces ignored my request for training, I paid for training out my own pocket to earn: private pilot license, Bachelor's degree, scuba license, and a long list of skydiving ratings. I worked full-time in the skydiving industry for 18 years.
I eventually earned Canadian Army and West German Army jump wings, but that was after I had more than a hundred civilian skydives.

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I had a co-worker that wanted to try it and didn't want to go alone. We went to Parachutes & Associates in Frankfurt, Indiana for tandem jumps.

The drogue hadn't been introduced yet so my first jump was a 10-second drogue-less tandem from 7,000 feet. I was scared shitless when my TI (Art Cross) opened the door of the 206, but by the time we reached the ground I knew I had discovered my life's passion.

That was June 14, 1985.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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My dad had a client who was a Beech Bee 18 pilot and used to fly skydivers. I was 12 when I flew with him on the copilot seat. I always loved aircraft and flying, but when the pilot cut back power and said “look behind you”, I couldn’t believe those people climbing on the wing, jumping, smiling and shouting. I never forgot that moment.

Eleven years ago I decided to do an ASL course at a tiny DZ, flying the most beautiful C180 Skywagon I’ve ever seen. Did 10 jumps and stopped for lack of money. Went back 4 years later to do it again and get my A license. Never stopped since then.
Rob Gallo
"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield."

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Point Break generation here. :$

I'd done a handful of static line round jumps in the late eighties, but had given up (mainly because my jump buddy broke his leg, and at that stage I hadn't made any other friends at the dropzone).

Watched Johnny Utah fly like an eagle in 1991, and asked myself why I hadn't carried on. I phoned around some dropzones, discovered this great new innovation called AFF and realised that was the way I'd get into the sport properly this time around. I did my first jump the following summer, and fell in love with everything about skydiving.

So yeah, like a lot other newbies around that time I started jumping in earnest because of a silly movie - but I guess after 24 years I've paid my dues and don't have to consider myself a tourist any more, or be embarrassed about that. So thank you, Kathryn Bigelow - you changed my life. B|

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Saw a special on TV when I was 14 with the Freefly Clowns. In Brazil the minimum was 15. On my birthday I started asking my parents to sign for it and after 2 months they gave up and I got consent. The FJC was a week long course, on Saturday we packed the parachutes and on Sunday we jumped. That was late August 1993. My first 6 jumps were on rounds (T10s, TUs and PCs). I still remember most of it in detail.

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Hi 102,

Quote

Why and how did you start skydiving?



It was the mid-50's and I was watching an Arthur Godfrey show on tv. He talked about making an intentional parachute jump & how scared he was. I decided then & there to make a jump.

First jump was early '64; I thought skydivers were nutz with underlying suicidal tendencies that they failed to recognize.

Made the first jump, made a second one & bought rig. It's been a long, winding road. I met my best friend on the dz in 1965; RIP Dan Grace, D-1726.

Jerry Baumchen

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Why : it was fun ! I thought I was really cool riding a motorcycle to the DZ, but apparently a very heavy percentage of jumpers ride, so I got now coolness points for that :(

How : My mom wouldn't sign the waiver so I could do a SL jump when I was 17 when few of my friends with more open minded parents went. So I had a flashback to this a few years later, and got a bunch of friends to go and do a tandem (9/17/2000). Started AFF a few weeks after.

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It was always one of those things I wanted to get around to, but never did. Then I was at Army Staff College and one of the other guys on my course had just finished his tour as Team Captain of the Skyhawks, the Canadian Army Parachute Demonstration Team. It sounded like it was a jammy go.

During one of the exercises for the course we were on we were up near the airfield where Skydive Gananoque operates and he mentioned being a TI there. I decided I needed to try it and told him to hold me to it. Couple weeks after the course ended I went and made my first tandem out of a Skyvan. I was hooked immediately.

I took the extra allowances I got from the course and paid for my PFF course. And then on the second jump of it I got myself pretty banged up, broken fibula. I made two tandems while recovering, one because there was a Skyvan in town, and once with a friend wanting to make her first, and then about 10 months after the break resumed the course. It took a while to get over the fear of reinjuring myself, but I've now got my own gear, made two skydiving based trips to jump at new DZs, got a number of firsts, and am looking forward to starting to really progress in the sport.

The motorcycle comment made me chuckle. Part of the challenge after I broke myself on a jump was figuring out how to get my motorcycle back - the DZ is three hours from home. I wound up getting a friend to go retrieve it for me.

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Never wanted to originally, somebody bet me i wouldn't do it, so i did - and raised money for charity doing a jump in the UK in 2009 by doing an AFF level 1

Moved to the US 7 years later, then decided i wanted to get my license which i got last June. Currently waiting on my own new rig to arrive :)

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