Frogs, as you know, like to jump. It's our preferred mode of transportion. So, I figured, hey, why not go jump out of an airplane? And that's exactly what I'm going to do. Originally, practiced only in the military, parachuting has become an acceptable recreational activity and a competitive sport. Since I have no intention of taking it that far, one or two "jumps" ought to satisfy my innate curiosity.
I will start off with a first jump class, or FJC, which will consist of 4-6 hours of ground training and will conclude with an actualparachute jump, weather permitting. I contacted the Land of Lily Pad Sport Parachuting Center (who knew this sport was so popular with frogs?) and asked about the training.
I need to know quite a bit, it turns out, before they'll let me up in the plane.
The course includes:
- Identification and purpose of parachute and harness system components
- Specific methods for entering and exiting the aircraft
- Identification and correction of potential problems
- How to control your parachute after deployment
- How to ensure a safe, injury-free landing
I learned that there is a competitive form of parachuting that's known as "pond swooping." As you might imagine, this caught my attention and interest. This is an event where the canopy pilots attempt to touch down and glide across a small body of water and then land on the opposite shore. I've got a long way to go before I can even consider this, but it sure sounds like a lot of fun!
Whatever you're plans are for the weekend, I hope you have an outside activity planned. There's nothing like communing with nature to make one feel alive and part of the world. Care to come fly with me?