Most farms house livestock, cornfields, and vegetable patches. But the crown jewel of Skydive the Farm’s 55 acres of property is something a little less typical: a Grand Caravan turbine-engine plane. Its Blackhawk engine modifications allow it to jet briskly to proper skydiving altitude, at which visitors leap out its doors and parachute to the farm’s spacious landing area. Adventurers can dive tandem-style, strapped to a certified instructor, or opt for more independent freefalls. Available only after several hours of training, these flights earn divers AFF licensing, requiring them to open their own parachute and land with radio assistance. Family and friends can watch their loved ones master the skies from a spacious viewing deck instead of having to find a sturdy enough cloud to climb upon. Divers can also watch themselves afterward via the center’s professionally-made flight DVDs, complete with video footage and photos.
From the ground, it’s easy to tell when Skydive Georgia’s airplane reaches 14,000 feet—just look for the tiny specks barreling out of its side. These specks are really the company’s team of certified skydive instructors and their clients, both beginners and experts alike. To ensure everyone’s safety at that extreme altitude, the staff meticulously maintains their turbine airplane and equips all of their parachutes with zero-porosity canopies, digital altimeters, and Cypress automatic-activation devices for a flawless jump. Before and after their big moment, clients can prepare or relax at Skydive Georgia’s climate-controlled training facility, which boasts a simulator, observation deck, and picnic area ideal for swooping down and stealing tuna sandwiches.
Skydive trips allows both beginner and seasoned divers a comprehensive and safe way to engage in free falls. Tandem dives allow first-timers to experience the thrill of a jump without special training or prior knowledge of species of stomach butterflies, and training programs ready aficionados for solo falls. A staff with decades of combined experience ensures a safe diving experience with bona fide instruction and equipment. The facilities include both indoor and outdoor observation areas for friends and family, as well as a picnic area jumpers often put to use after they've completed their adventure.
Sportations connects amateur adrenaline jockeys to certified professional adventurers, drawing from a nationwide network of aeronauts and speed demons to introduce habitual pedestrians to the wonders of skydiving, ballooning, hang gliding, and stock-car racing. Thrill seekers can zipline across a forest canopy, hollering like Tarzan or taunting nearby birds until they agree to race. Helicopter tours ferry patrons skyward over landmarks and cityscapes, whereas paragliding adventures get up close and personal with blue skies and clouds. For most sports, Sportations accommodates groups of any size, from physics classes empirically proving gravity's existence to solo ballooning supervillains declaring dominion over all they see.
Atlanta Tandem Skydiving's instructors help people experience the thrill of the lifetime, and then train them to relive that moment again and again. Their tandem jumps accommodate newbies. Once hooked, these fledgling divers can work their way through the training program and learn to jump solo.
"[I] enjoyed the introspection it provided my mind when facing the open door for the first time," says ATL Skydiving's drop zone manager Josh Eckl. "Despite the fear, you push yourself forward and into the unknown." Since the profound experience he felt during his first skydive, Josh has gone on to complete more than 5000 jumps, becoming certified as a tandem and accelerated freefall (AFF) instructor in the process. Josh and his team—all members of the United States Parachute Association—arrange both of these types of jumps, offering traditional tandem jumps for amateur skydivers and AFF leaps for instructors in training. Regardless of the type of jump, skydivers are flown out of a tower-controlled airport (Earl L. Small, Jr. Field-Stockmar Airport in Villa Rica), ensuring they are in contact with all area aircraft, which contributes to ATL's stellar safety record.
To commemorate their dive, clients can purchase an RVT skydiving video. RVT, which stands for Revolutionary Video Technology, combines footage from a first-person canopy cam as well as panoramic shots in order to recreate the experience. The finished product shows every step of the jump, from the freefall and parachute opening to the ground landing and tasting of the soil to ensure that you landed back on Earth.