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Published on July 19th, 2010 | by Adam

12

High altitude jump woo hoo!

Only 6 more sleeps until I get to do a high altitude 4 way jump with some friends.

For those of you who don’t know what that means… Normally, when you do a skydive, you jump out of the plane at 13500 feet. Or in some cases 10500 feet (if in a smaller plane).

If the plane is between 10000 and 13000 feet for more than 30 minutes, then they have to have oxygen available for the skydivers with a minimum of 1 mask for every 10 jumpers.

If above 13000 feet, everyone needs oxygen for the duration of the flight. (Exceptions are made for the first 500 feet at most DZs)

Above 20000 feet, each skydiver needs oxygen for the descent as well. (An oxygen bottle to jump with)

Now, because of all these regulations, Drop Zones reserve high altitude jumps for special occasions, plan it out months in advance (to be sure to have oxygen available) and take reservations as well.
I’ve been waiting 2 months for this coming Sunday.
Why?
Because this Sunday is gonna be my 1st experience with it.
What’s so special about it?
Well, when you jump at 13500 feet, it takes about 1500-2000 feet to stabilize, and an extra 500-1000 feet if you’re in a group to start doing formations. Leaving you about 11000 feet to play with right?

Wrong!
You separate at about 4500 feet and release your canopy at about 3000-3500…

So that leaves only 6500 feet of freefall to “play” in…. Falling at 174 feet per second, that’s only 37 seconds…

When falling from 20000 feet, you still need the 2500 or so feet to stabilize and start formations, plus separation at about 4500 feet, but that still leaves you 13000 feet to have fun with… OR 74 seconds of freefall with which to do your formation… You’re effectively doubling your play time…
Now that’s a LOT of falling =)

It’s costing 85$ plus canopy rental (Unless I can convince a buddy to lend me his :P)
And it’s gonna be 85$ well spent!

I’ll share my experience with you when I get home afterward!

Blue Skies!

-Adam

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12 Responses to High altitude jump woo hoo!

  1. Lance says:

    Adam – That sounds awesome, very nice way of explaining high altitude jumps! I’m super keen to do one myself but the air traffic controllers in SA moan when we go above 13grand!

  2. Adam says:

    Thanks for the comment Lance,

    Sucks that in SA they won’t let you fly high :-(

  3. Ashley says:

    First, I’m calling BEER. C’mon Adam, you know better than to say the F- word ;-)

    Interesting how the rules for high altitude differ from Canada to the US. When I did mine at a boogie in Florida, we went up to 22,500 and had oxygen from 12,000 ft. on up to full altitude. Then you take it off and jump out. No need for oxygen on the way down.

    But for us, rule is, oxygen is required above 15,000 ft. But it’s not uncommon for cool pilots to take a load of fun jumpers up slightly past that on occasion…which is nice.

    Have fun on your FIRST high altitude buddy!

  4. Adam says:

    Yeah, Pilots here do the same as well.
    I’ve had some jumps where we’ve gone up to like 15-16k without oxygen also.
    But it’s against the rules, so it’s not done often…

    As for the beer, I was planning on bringing some to the DZ for this… We’re like 7 or 8 ppl doing this for the 1st time, so it’s gonna be a drunken sunday night =)

    I’m quite excited though to say the least, thanks for the wishes Ash =D

  5. Mike P says:

    I just found a place that jumps from 30,000. That is totally a goal of mine (as is jumping with a tuxedo on). I can’t wait to hear how your jump went!

  6. Adam says:

    Mike, I’m actually hoping to get a jump with an umbrella done for a photo.
    Pulling a Mary Poppins haha

    Lots of places do them from 30k, but it’s usually fairly expensive…
    Doesn’t happen often in Quebec unfortunately though

  7. Lance says:

    :-( I feel deprived! When I look at my alti on a fun load and see the door open at like 13,200ft – I think “WoooHOOO….high jump!” but even that is very rare!

    Enjoy your jump Adam!

    I think I need to buy a plane ticket to come jump with you all at 15 grand! haha

  8. Adam says:

    Lance, you’re more than welcome to come and visit.
    You’ve got a couch to sleep on if you do decide to come to Montreal, that’s for sure.

  9. Adam says:

    Oh, and 5 DZs to chose from when it comes to jumping ;-)

  10. Lance says:

    AWESOME! Thanks Adam – that is defiantely part of my long-term plan, however – with the exchange rate it might take me a while to do it :-( Especially since all my free cash now goes to jumping here :-) well…that and beer!

  11. Adam says:

    hahahahaha!

    Well, do what I do… Out of every pay I get, 15% goes to savings (long term)
    at least 15% goes to debt repayment.
    30%-40% goes to paying bills (rent, insurance, cell phone, etc…)
    10% is put aside for travel
    and the rest 20-30% goes to activities. (Skydiving and Snowboarding)

    At least this way, I get some money for travel every once in a while…
    I do use my Skydive $ to travel if the travel has to do with skydiving though :P

  12. Gzymsy says:

    I was looking for something different but this article was quite interesting :)

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