Skydiving - Byron Airport

November 30, 2008

My friend Maxim from Intel in Novosibirsk was visiting, and he wanted to do something exciting, preferably something involving airplanes. I thought what can be more exciting than jumping out of one, so I made reservations with the Bay Area Skydiving outfit in Byron.

Our scheduled time was 1pm, but it was still foggy, so we had to wait a couple of hours before our turn. Since none of us had any previous experience parachute jumping we were gonna do a tandem jump, with a guy that knew what he was doing strapped to our back. My guy was Vic and Maxim got paired up with a russian instructor, Yuri.

The climb in the Turboprop up to 13,000 feet took about 15 minutes, and then we got pushed out the door in quick order. There were about 12 people in the plane alltogether. Some of us had a dedicated photographer that was gonna follow us down with a camera and camcorder on his helmet. This is how these pictures were taken.

While free falling, we were travelling at about 120mph, which feels pretty fast. The nostrils got pretty well blown out. The free fall part of the fall was about 50 seconds, which took us down to around 5,000 feet, which was where Vic pulled the cord and the chute opened.

The free fall part was pretty thrilling, but the parachute portion was pretty neat as well. He let me steer the chute into a series of turns.

A worthwhile experience!