I’m booking a tandem parachute jump. I’ll be going up in a plane but will not be landing in a plane. Hopefully, I’ll be landing on my feet. Up in the plane, at 3000 meters someone will open a door, and the dude I’ll be strapped to will jump out of the plane. We will plummet at around 200 km/hr. I think he’ll be strapped to my back. It will be his job to pull the rip chord and steer us safely away from power lines, swamps, windmills or any nearby outdoor safaris and the like. Why am I going on a tandem parachute jump? Well, why not? I’ve never done it, and it’s something I’ve been meaning to get around to for years. I actually booked a jump while I was at York University. That was in the eighties. I phoned after a few drinks and scheduled the jump for the next day. When I woke up I cancelled. It’s easy to book skydiving lessons after a few drinks. It’s the follow up that’s hard. But I’m braver now.
For the price of a night out at the movies and a supper afterwards, I can do something with memories that will last longer.
I’ve started practising my landings by jumping off the kitchen table in my steel toes and going into a tiger roll. My wife is pissed.
TRIVIA: The first dude to parachute jump was André-Jacques Garnerin. He bailed from a hydrogen balloon 3,200 feet above Paris. On October 22, 1797, Garnerin hitched his parachute to a hydrogen balloon and ascended to an altitude of 3,200 feet. He then clambered into the basket and severed the parachute from the balloon. He never thought to include an air vent at the top of the prototype so the ride down was not a pretty one. He landed shaken but in one piece half a mile from the takeoff site.