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HindustanTimes Mon,24 Nov 2014

Features

For skydiving, fun or serious, look abroad
Yana Bey, Hindustan Times
August 30, 2009
First Published: 00:06 IST(30/8/2009)
Last Updated: 23:39 IST(5/9/2009)

I’m really excited after reading about the seats for civilians in the Directorate of Air Force Adventure Skydiving Course in your column. Please give more details and tell me how to apply.

Anjanjot Singh

Kindly provide all details about the Air Force Adventure Sky Diving course. What are the criteria and fees?

Suman Kanwar

The Directorate of Air Force Adventure has stopped offering seats to civilians at the moment because of the slowdown. In any case, those of you who want to take up skydiving seriously would eventually have to go abroad. There are four licensing levels — A, B, C and D. Once you have the A licence, you can skydive anywhere in the world. The Directorate’s course did not qualify trainees for an A licence, so it is best to look for an opportunity to learn abroad.

You can pick from the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. The US is most affordable; Skydive Arizona (www.skydiveaz.com) is reputed to be among the best skydiving schools in the world.

Those of you who simply want a taste of skydiving can opt for a tandem jump. There is currently no one in India who offers tandem jumps for civilians but it is a very popular tourist activity in the countries listed above. Some people believe that, if you intend to learn skydiving, you should avoid doing a tandem because it will make your first solo jump more difficult, but this is a myth. A good skydiving school will eliminate your fear with thorough ground lessons, wind tunnel training and accelerated free fall jumps before you do your first solo jump.    

And, if you really don’t want to jump out of a plane but want to know what free fall feels like, you can do simulated skydiving. You put on a jumpsuit, goggles, helmet and ear plugs and enter a vertical wind tunnel where a machine blasts wind at up to 200 kph and you soar on it like a ball on a jet of water. The body fly techniques are the same as in real skydiving. Asia’s only skydiving simulator is at Genting Highlands, Malaysia. Contact Skyventure at +60-3-61059011 (email: muhammad.nasirahmad@genting.com).

You can also read what is considered the best book on the sport — Parachuting: The Skydiver’s Handbook by Dan Poynter and Mike Turoff, published by Para Publishing, Santa Barbara, California.


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