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Travel & Holiday

A world of experiences – Jumping from the skies

Get on a holiday high with parachuting or skydiving. It’s a surefire way to get you floating on cloud nine.
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - October 21, 2009
By: Sheila Lim
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A world of experiences – Jumping from the skies

Parachuting or skydiving is the sport of jumping from an altitude of approximately 4,000 metres (13,000 feet), and free-falling for a period of time before activating a parachute to slow the descent and land safely.

Parachutists typically jump from aircraft (an airplane, and in some cases, a helicopter), but could choose to do so from a bridge or even a gondola of a hot air balloon.

Tandem skydiving – whereby the participant is strapped to the instructor – is a great way for beginners to experience the thrill of free-falling at 200 kph. The instructor will activate the main parachute about a minute into your jump, and this allows you to relax and enjoy the breathtaking views below before you return to earth.

Why it’s so thrilling:

Whether it’s your first or hundredth jump, you’ll experience an incredible surge of adrenaline before being engulfed by that top-of-the-world feeling while you float in the air.

Just after making a jump, the skydiver will be swept forward and downwards for a few seconds before falling vertically, due to the momentum created by the aircraft's speed (known as throw-forward). Unlike jumping from a helicopter, hot air balloon or bridge, a skydiver making a jump from a plane generally does not experience a "falling" sensation because the resistance of the air to his or her body at speeds above 80 km/h provides some feeling of weight and direction.

Where to go:

Gold Coast, Perth Sydney, Brisbane, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines and Bali are some of the places where this activity is available. The options vary widely from one country to another; you can choose to jump over water bodies like bays and lakes, mountainous regions or plains.

What you should know:

Larger commercial establishments often operate year-round (subject to wind conditions), and deploy larger aircraft and full-time instructors and staff who are current in the knowledge of the sport and their instructional skills.

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