Skydiving is parachuting from an airplane for fun. Skydiving can be done individually and with groups of people. Training is required. Unlike most paratroopers, skydivers often wait until they are low, before opening the parachute. The jump can also be made from a helicopter or a balloon that is high enough in the sky. Skydiving can be an exciting sport.
Skydiving includes free falling (usually from an aeroplane) through the air prior to opening a parachute. Typically skydives are carried out from around 4,000m (or 12,500ft) offering 40 to 50 seconds of freefall time. Longer free fall times can be achieved by exiting an aircraft at altitudes much higher than 4,000m, but very high jumps require pressurized oxygen within the aircraft, and bottled oxygen for the diver.
During a skydive, total freedom and control of the air can be enjoyed as well as many complex and spectacular manoeuvres including flat turns, somersaults and formation skydiving. Skydiving can be enjoyed either as an individual - doing solo(alone) jumps - or as part of a team carrying out formation skydiving. Generally, the term ‘skydive’ refers to the time spent in freefall from exiting an aircraft to deploying a parachute but skydiving does include some disciplines such as accuracy landings and canopy formation flying which concentrate on the time spent once a canopy has been deployed.
- Captain Joseph Kittinger recorded the highest skydive from a height of almost 102,800 feet, in 1960.
- The youngest to accomplish the feat of skydiving was a four year old.
- On 6th of February 2004, a group of 357 skydivers joined hands and stayed in that formation for 6 seconds in Takhli, Thailand.
- The oldest person to skydive till date was Kathryn “Kitty” Hodges, 103 years and 129 days old.