Skydiving is an activity where people jump off from an airplane at high altitude before landing on the ground. While many consider this an extreme sport, it is also used by the military for various purposes.
In sports, parachuting is the term used for skydiving. Here, a group of people jump from an aircraft and perform various aerial maneuvers before landing. While they are airborne, a group of judges watch what they do and score them accordingly. The team that garners the most points wins.
In the military, skydiving was a backup system to save airmen who have to evacuate their aircraft. But years later, this was soon replaced with ejection seats. This did not stop the military from maximizing its potential because they soon realized that this is one way to drop troops quickly into a battle zone.
During the Second World War, airborne troops were dropped behind military lines. This practice is still being done today not only by the regular army but also by specialized units. Outside the military, wildfire fighters are deployed into a remote site if that is the only way in the fire zone.
The history of sky diving dates goes back to the 18th century because this was done by Andre Jacques Garnerin who jumped from this air balloon with a parachute.
To make skydiving safe for those who jump, the gear they use is checked on a regular basis before they board and exit the aircraft. If the first parachute fails, a backup parachute is deployed and sometimes the person does not have to do anything if this is deployed automatically once it reaches a certain altitude.
Skydivers have to be physically fit, attend classes and be certified before they can go on a jump. For people who just want to try it, they can enlist the services of a skydiving company who will assign someone to do it with them.
There are thousands of sky divers in the US and the number is still growing because there are over 400 skydiving centers scattered all across the country. Some are open all year round, seven days a week while there are some that are only open on weekends. This really depends on the weather conditions and the discretion of those who run it.
Although there is no minimum age for skydiving, most skydiving centers require the individual to be at least 18 years of age. You can still jump even if you are 60 years old as long as you are not epileptic, have heart ailments or obese.
Skydiving is a safe activity despite the fact that you travel at a high speed before finally landing on the ground. On average 35 out of two million people who jump are killed each year. The cause of death is carelessness while very rare is it caused by equipment failure.
This is why it is important for skydivers both amateur and professionals to be trained very well in the use of their equipment. After jumping a few times with someone and taking ground classes, you may soon want to try this on your own.
Before you can do that, you have to sign a legally binding assumption of risk agreement which means that despite the risks involved in jumping from a plane, you are still willing to do so and not holding the skydiving center responsible should something happen.