Sunday, October 11, 2009

My First SkyDive !!!!

And the weekend travails continue... Jumping from 10,500 feet is no joke and i realised just that this weekend.

Thrilling, breathtaking, exhilarating, adrenaline gushing experience.

The day begins with a 100 dollar bill to the taxi to reach the venue - all just because of some careless useless planning by me. Just when i think that this is going to be a bad day, the sun gods appear from nowhere and change the mood altogether. The rains in the past few days could have spoilt everything. So, the platform was being set for a perfect beginning to skydiving.

I reach the venue on time and am told to fill up a form that is only two pages long but is full disclaimers. Felt no point in reading it as i had to sign in any case if i had to take the jump. Now it was clear, whatever happens - plane crash, parachute not opened, heart attack, or any other remotely related medical illness - I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR MYSELF!!! That makes it easy... Well, not really.

Now that the form is signed (with initials at every second line), i am introduced my guide Donald who is going to be taking care of my life for the next twenty mins or so. I think i should be able to find his name somewhere in my Kundali (horoscope) as he has every possible chance of changing my future altogether. Well, he is twenty years into the job and the probability of him screwing this up was very remote. That makes me comfortable.

The moment arrives.. I am all dressed up for the occasion and am told to get into the flight that would take us to 10,500 feet and come back with no-one in it (except the pilot of course)

We start the ascend and somewhere around 4000 feet i try to re-confirm my postures with Donald and he ignores it saying that we would have a briefing just before we get out..

We ascend some more - the maple trees look beautiful with colours spilled over them. The view gets hazier and you are hardly able to see anything now. Just as i realise that, Donald tightens my hook with his hook and starts giving me instructions.

Fold your hands across your chest when you leave the plane and open them when i tap twice. Just before we open the parachute, ill tap again and you have to fold your hands again.
And just as i try to visualise the scenarios, he tells me to kneel down at the gate. We are the first to go !!!! No time to fear !! Only later did i realise that this is actually a great strategy to minimise fear - Give very little time to think.

Ten seconds from then, we are at the gate and i am facing down from 10,500 feet. This moment defines the whole experience.. There is no greater moment than this...

You are standing at the gate of an aircraft at 10,500 feet - about to take a free fall that is going to last for a minute. You would be going down at 200KM PH during this time.. That sums up the entire experience.

Just as i look down and try to convince myself that i can do it, Donald tells me to pose for a photo. I feel like telling him, "Boss, this probably is not the best moment to pose for a photograph.." He turns my neck around so that i can give the cameraman (Andrew) a reason for him being there with me all through the jump.

Donald gives a call.. JUMP!!! I get the courage from somewhere and i jump (of course with a push from Donald)... The first 5 seconds make you numb as you are somersaulting at 200KMPH.. Just as you stabilise, you realise that this is going to be an enjoyable ride with the air gushing in at your face real fast at single digit temperatures...

We pose for some photos (the camera man follows you) and now it is time for opening the parachute. Donald signals the cameraman and suddenly you feel a jerk at all the places where the rope was tied on to you.

I insist on taking control of the parachute. Donald agrees as we were still quite long from landing. Controlling the parachute is a great feeling in itself. You feel as if you are flying and you take turns and increase speed etc..

One more minute passes by and Donald realises that he needs to get back controls now if we are to land safely. I agree instantly and Donald makes sure we reach safely...

This experience is something which may not have its impact with words.. You really need to experience it to feel it.. Dont miss it if you do have an opportunity !!!

Complete video at
(Search for 'Athmanathan Ramamirdam')


Suraj said...

Bugger, that was one hell of an experience for u.. I could feel the rush from ur words. Wish one day am up there too. U look incredibly funny with those mufflers and all. Still, its one hell of an experience. Burnt lots of dollar on this eh!!!

Anonymous said...

Gr8 man.
I like such sports.

Brijesh said...

Kewl. Enjoy madi !!!

Anonymous said...

So nice to see u flying, literally.
Enjoy ur global trotting!!!!

Anonymous said...

very nice experience !
enjoy ur global trotting!!!

Unknown said...

Great yaar,u must be thrilled. Where you did this? Exactly at which place ?

nish!th said...

DUDE!! you sure having some fun.. reminds me of my days in montreal; where the entire week went in planning the next weekend. ;)

Check out my exploits on

Bhuvan said...

Hey very very cool, I am bit scared of heights, saw the video had the experience of my jump...excellent, love it