Taking the Dive
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Watch what happens as we go skydiving at "The Ranch," in Gardiner, NY, July 26, 1998.
For new pictures from our most recent dive (July 31, 1999), click here.
The basic premise, which you won't see here: The plane takes us up to about 14,000 feet, and we jump out, attached to an "instructor." We fall together. "Students" are encouraged to pull the rip cord themselves, but before you do, there's over a mile of free fall to enjoy (about 60 sec.). You steer with your arms, as if you were flying. The wind rushes past your face.
After you pop the chute, suddenly it becomes very quiet, and you drift down slowly. Again, you can steer yourself with the chute--circling left, right, spiraling, etc. Landing is about as forceful as jumping off a chair.
For more information about skydiving at "The Ranch," you can call 914/255-4033.
A happy customer (Ken Mathers). After landing.
After you come down, you get a certificate that says you made the jump, plus bumper stickers and discounts for next time and so on. Oh, and a coupon that gets you half off at a nearby brew & burger place, which we always use immediately, regaling each other with dramatic stories of our highflying adventures of a few hours before. This is Eileen with her skydiving "instructor" (the guy who was strapped to her back), getting her sign-off.
Chris with his "instructor" before the jump. This is the tent where the instructors and other skydivers roll and pack their chutes. You get to watch it all.
Chris and his instructor walking out to the airfield. The instructor has a pack on with the parachute inside. Chris has only a harness on. In the plane, he'll buckle his harness to the instructor's harness. The instructor's chute carries them both down.
Vreni talking with her instructor after landing. Although "instructor" sounds like a funny word for the big surfer dude who's essentially escorting you down safely, there actually is a fair bit of learning going on. Typically after you land, you still have some questions and want to know how you did (how they think you did).
That's Ken in the foreground, Chris obscured by Vreni.
For more shots, go to the thumbnails index, which will link you to individual pictures or whole pages with batches of larger pictures.
Pictures on these pages were taken by Doug Bradley, Chris and Eileen Mathers and Vreni Hommes, plus a couple of anonymous bystanders.
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