Falling From 14,000 Feet

Lebanon Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 25 › view all entries

July 8th, 2007:

I finally did it.  I jumped from a moving airplane at 14,000 feet.  Yes, I skydived! 

On June 26th, my friend, Shannon, bartered for free gift certificates for two people at Skydive New England.  She chose me to go with her, and I couldn't refuse (even though I was a little hesitant to do it).  Normally it would cost about $190 to jump, plus $125 for the video and roll of film.  So we were each saving $190.  Great deal!

We had been planning on going for a couple of weeks, when one day we were talking and made the decision to go there very next day, June 26th.

  It was supposed to be sunny and warm (90+ degrees).  So, we figured, "Let's do it!"

She picked me up around 10am, and we drove up to Lebanon, Maine.  It took us about 2 hours to get there.  The place had a rustic feel to it.  It was off the main highway by a few miles, surrounded by trees.  There was a runway for the planes, a firepit with chairs for campers, a place to grab some grub before jumping, and the main building. 

In the main building we saw some of the instructors and other employees.  All the guys were walking around shirtless, displaying their tattoos and piercings.  The women all were slim and fit, with their own share of piercing and tattoos.  It felt like a very laid-back atmosphere.  I would have felt right at home if it were not for the pit in my stomach from knowing that I’d be soon jumping out of a plane with only two parachutes between me and death.

Skydiving for the first time in Maine on June 26, 2007 at Skydive New England. Thanks Herber and Mike!!!

After our 15 minute training (we were jumping tandem so we didn’t require that much) Shannon and I tried to relax for another 2-3 hours as we waited for the next plane to go up.  Right before they called our names I sprinted about 100 yards to get the blood pumping in me. 

Herber was to be the guy on my back.  He’s from Recife, Brazil originally and has been jumping for about 7 years, and has over 4000 jumps logged.  He was a very good instructor and explained things to me in detail.  I felt a little more comfortable after he explained how secure I’ll be and how much fun it will be.

I dropped the $125 to get the video and film.  I figure I’m only going to virgin skydive once so I might as well get it on video.  I’m glad I did too.  They did a quick interview before we got on the pickup that brought us to the plane.  I didn’t know what to say.  I was in “don’t think about anything because if you do it will turn to fear” mode. 

As we boarded the plane, I was thinking “My God, I am really doing this”.  I was told I’d go first, and I was glad.  I’d rather go first than have to see the fear on Shannon’s and another woman’s faces as they did their first jumps too. 

The inside of the plane was very small.  The interior height was only about 5’3”, and I had to duck quite a bit to walk.  The width of the interior was about 4’-5’, and there was one padded bench running along each side of the plane.  There were no seatbelts, and as we ascended with the door of the plane wide open to cool us off (it was 90+°F on the ground), I kept asking “Should I be buckled in?”, and the response from Herber was always “No, you’re fine” attached with a smile.

Shannon ended up jumping first, and she looked and sounded very uneasy.  As she and the guy strapped to her back approached the door I heard her say “Oh my God” more than once.  Then as she was jumping I heard her scream a few times and say the phrase again with more emphasis.  Then she was out the door and on her way to the ground.

I immediately followed Shannon.  I had Herber strapped to my back and had to crouch down to walk.  When I made it to the door, there was this metal bar that I almost clunked my head on.  I stuck my face out the door, felt the nice breeze, did NOT look down, and then we were out.  The next minute of free fall would be one of the most exhilarating minutes of my life.

I remember the wind screaming against my face, lifting up my arms and legs.  I remember Mike, the videographer, grabbing my hand to make us spin around.  I remember seeing the ground below me, but it didn’t seem like it was getting any closer.  I remember feeling exhilarated.  I can’t compare the experience to anything else. 

All of a sudden I felt a tremendous jerk as the parachute deployed.  Freefall was over, and now we were gliding in.  I was able to take in the views.  It was all very peaceful.  Off in the distance I could see the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  In the other direction I could see the blueness of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Maine.

We landed about 10 minutes later.  Even though we came in hard, and I bruised my tailbone due to landing on my rear, I was so ecstatic in front of the camera at the bottom.  It was an awesome journey and I would do it everyday if I had the money.  If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend it!

bubu932 says:
what coincidence I Jump at same place you did :)
Posted on: Mar 05, 2012
Sunflower300 says:
You’ve just cemented it for me, I’m definitely going! Now I can’t wait.
Posted on: Aug 11, 2007
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Skydiving for the first time in M…
photo by: WhereisCliff