Tandem Skydive!

Ellington Travel Blog

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N1846 Short SC-7 Skyvan plane from which I jumped with Connecticut Parachutist at 14,000ft (4.27km)

I woke up Sunday morning at 10:00, a half an hour before my alarm was set to go off, and had a good breakfast.  The drive to Ellington Airport took me about 45 minutes.  As soon as I got there, I found my new friend Jenn inside the Connecticut Parachutist building.  She and I had met while training for our scuba certifications.  One day we were talking by the pool about skydiving and we discovered that skydiving was something we each had long wanted to try, but neither of us had any friends willing to go with us.  At that point, naturally, we decided to go together.


After watching a video, sitting through a brief orientation, and of course initialing and signing several waivers in a few dozen locations, we received our gear and suited up.

Evans on the way up to skydive with Connecticut Parachutist
  We met up with our tandem masters outside and received some final instructions before boarding the N1846 Short SC-7 Skyvan, which looked like a flying school bus.  With a press of the throttle the engines revved and the lumbering plane thundered down the runway, lifting into flight.  As we gained altitude and the reality of what I was about to do increased, as did my heart rate.  My brief anxiety was quickly followed by a rational thought of my statistical safety.  No worries!


Once we’d reached our desired altitude of 14,000 ft (~4.27 km), we all lined up in the cargo area with our tandem masters.  My instructor was a short, stocky guy, so I had to sit on the floor in front of him while he fastened the shackles attaching my harness to his.  Slowly the cargo bay door opened under the tail of the plane exposing the distant Earth below.

the ground beneath my feet
  We had to shout to hear over the noise of the propellers and wind.  My instructor asked how I preferred to jump, forwards or backwards.  He suggested the latter and I agreed, so we knelt at the edge of the hatch, facing away from the opening and toward the pilots.  Falling backward, we watched the plane grow smaller as it pulled away from us.


An exhilarating spike of adrenalin shot through my veins when we rolled over to face the 120 mph (~193 kph) wind and I first saw the vast expanse of nothing between me and a splattering death.  Driven by instinct, I threw my hands out in front of me as if to catch myself, realizing as my body acted independently of my brain, that there was nothing to grab on to.  Releasing the tension from my arms, they relaxed and flapped in the breeze while I screamed with exhilaration.

Evans & the tandem master after our shoot opened
  This was so much better than any thrill ride I’d ever ridden.  It didn’t even feel as if we were falling.  The ground changes so gradually that I had the sensation I was motionless, held aloft by the force of air.  The rushing wind felt like a hurricane blowing straight up.  The sound was so loud I could only hear my instructor when I turned my head and he yelled in my ear.


Following our freefall of nearly 60 incredible seconds, the instructor pulled the cord and our rainbow-colored parachute slowly expanded above us.  Gradually the tension on my harness increased and it supported my weight, gently shifting my position from horizontal to vertical.  I shot a few pictures during our floating descent before taking a turn at steering the chute.

Evans skydiving under the colorful parachut


We lifted our feet to come in for a seated landing.  I dug in my heals just a little to slow our forward motion and the ride was over, but the thrill was still with me and I knew it would remain for a long time to come.  It was an amazing experience and immediately I was eager to try it again.  Wanting to see my pictures right away, I stopped at Ritz camera shop to develop my film on the way home and had them developed.

wastemanagement99 says:
Awesome! The pic of the ground beneath your feet makes me nauseous! FreemanX Skydive - Tandem Skydive sites across Oz & NZ
Posted on: Apr 05, 2013
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N1846 Short SC-7 Skyvan plane from…
N1846 Short SC-7 Skyvan plane fro…
Evans on the way up to skydive wit…
Evans on the way up to skydive wi…
the ground beneath my feet
the ground beneath my feet
Evans & the tandem master after ou…
Evans & the tandem master after o…
Evans skydiving under the colorful…
Evans skydiving under the colorfu…
Ellington Airport and Connecticut …
Ellington Airport and Connecticut…
photo by: ctjevans