Sky Diving – The Jumps

All excited – I got on the flight from Mumbai to Ahmedabad on Friday.
Was met by Sourin, Narottam and Harnish at the airport and we were
off to Deesa.
Met up with a few more trainees in Deesa – mostly from the army.
Nothing much to say about that night – don’t remember much of what
happened as it was all wiped out by the experiences next day.

Got up early morning – had breakfast – and went to to the Deesa
airfield (with a slight detour as we lost the way and reached a dam
instead).

The winds were perfect – the weather was absolutely clear – just one
small hitch – our plane was stuck in Ahmedabad as it could not get a
take-off slot 🙁 — then started a long wait – a few warm-up
exercises and another loong wait. Finally the plane touched down at
11:35 AM

By now the winds had become faster and all the first-timers were told
that we would have to wait till the winds died down and were to watch
the experienced jumpers and learn by watching them. To cut a long
story short – watching them was very informative – but by now we were
getting impatient and waiting for our turns. Finally I got my name
into the 7th Sortie – I was to jump second.

I was excited – got my parachute on (fit-chute) — and was ready for
the jump. Soon I got into the plane with Surya sir and Narottam –
perfectly normal till now. Then as the plane started going higher – my
heart-beats started getting faster – I was actually afraid – it was
the beginning of a sheer terror an almost panic and I could not
believe myself – it was like one part of me is terribly afraid – and
the second part is looking on and wondering why he’s afraid. We
reached a height of 3500′ and Narottam jumped first – I got into
position – the position being keeping one foot on the strut of the
plane, the second inside and looking straight. I looked down – and
almost panicked. Surya sir tapped on my back and shouted ‘GO’. Against
all instincts – against everything I ever felt – against my TOTAL fear
– I stepped into thin air and made the exit position.

Took a few tumbles and heard my parachute opening above me. As soon as I jumped
out the fear vanished (at least for the time being) – I was out of the
plane – I was safe (i.e. alive) and I was back in a state when the
panic was not controlling me anymore. I looked up and saw that the
lines of my chute were twisted as I had tumbled – I took hold of the
risers and pulled them apart to untwist – got my bearings and started
experimenting with the canopy – left turns – right turns – and finally
landed safely and nicely (about a 100m ahead of the target). It was
all amazing. But whenever I thought of the time I jumped I felt the
panic come back immediately – it was almost as if a fear was the only
thing !! I could not believe myself – on one hand I was telling myself
that I loved it had a lot of fun blah blah blah — on the other hand
there was nothing but terror at jumping again.


Imagine stepping into that

I had brought the cash for the second jump thinking that I might go
for it if I enjoy a lot – I had enjoyed a lot – but found myself
making excuses for not jumping again – its too expensive – how will I
get to Ahmedabad – etc etc. However deep down I knew I was panicking –
I had managed to control the fear once in the air – but now it was
getting hold of me and I knew that if I did not jump again today – I
would never sky-dive again. I controlled myself again – paid the money
– asked them to get me on the earliest sortie possible. I took the
second jump not just because I had enjoyed the first one – but because
I had to control this fear.

I was on Sortie 11 – went up again with Surya sir and Jitin – again
jumping second. This time I kept calm – kept repeating the exit drill
in my mind – “GO – jump – slipstream position – 1000 – 2000 – 3000 –
4000 – 5000 – check”. I fumbled a bit while coming into position – got
my wrong foot ahead at first – corrected myself and jumped at the word
“GO”. This time it was perfect – there was no fear – a certain amount
of anxiety – but not the shear panic I had felt the first time – I did
not tumble – the chute had opened perfectly – I had time to experience
the flight – I tried 360 degree turns – made a full circuit pattern
for landing and landed safely. It was the most amazing experience till
date. Best of all I knew I had conquered my fear – I knew that now I
would be absolutely addicted to sky-diving. I was part of this group –
and not an outsider looking in.

The entire experience was a learning experience – not just about the
art of parachuting – but about myself.
Photos below:

2008_02_09 Parachuting – Deesa

3 Replies to “Sky Diving – The Jumps”

  1. Hey Dushyant…rocking stuff…wish i knew about the sky diving i would have surely attempted to come with you. You are “the” man in adventure for me. too good…

  2. way to go. excellently written.hope you’ll continue diving. Am trying to wangle some more jumps, will keep you posted on the same. Carry on withthe spirit
    Bharat

  3. hi thr..I am from mumbai. Even I want to do sky diving. Can you guide me from scracth? where to look and how? Is there any in mumbai? How much does it cost?etc..

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