It's not often that you find yourself falling headfirst toward the earth, wind whipping by, before you pull a cord on your chute and float gently to the ground. This thrill-seeking experience is available to first-time and returning divers seven days a week at the recently completely remodeled Skydive Spaceland, which sends people plummeting out of planes on a regular basis. Tandem dives pair newbies with experienced instructors, and skydiving lessons teach students how to take the plunge on their own, with students able to get their basic skydiving licenses in a week or less. After their first landing, patrons can commemorate their jump with a special logbook, proving they've conquered their fear of heights and cotton that could shrink in the dryer. And visitors wishing to continue their adventure after the jump is over can take advantage of campsites located in the area.
At Skydive Georgia, first-time jumpers can skydive tandem-style, strapped to a certified instructor. After mastering the tandem jump, adventurers can enroll in a Level 1 AFF course to prepare for a solo dive, or complete the 7 Level AFF course, requiring them to open their own parachute and land with radio assistance. Available only after several hours of training, these flights earn divers AFF licensing, which allows them to skydive anywhere in the world.
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.
When falling out of a plane at 10,000 feet, experience counts. Skydive Tuskegee’s owner boast a wealth of that experience, as a former parachute regiment military officer and three-time world skydiving championship medalist. He and his staff adhere to the rigorous training requirements set forth by the United States Parachute Association, but they also make the experience fun. They often conduct tandem dives with beginners, the instructor controlling the freefall, chute deployment, and decent, while guests soak up the sunshine, wind, and gravity. They staff has led jumps out of planes and into their dropzone for 11 years, and to quote them, “We have never left anyone up there yet.”
"[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.
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