There were a total of nine participants including me in the course. As far as the theoretical parts go they were easy. A total of seven hours of theoretical teaching lead in the culmination of an exam in which the minimum pass percentage was cent percent. That means anyone wishing to pursue skydiving further than theory was supposed to obtain a score of 100 out 100.
Eventually the day arrived. In the dressing room we put on our diving overalls, parachutes, altimeters (gadget that keeps track of the altitude), helmets, gloves and goggles. Last minute reminders, tips, tricks, prayers in short there was a general buzz of excitement around; an excitement that reverberated with a tingling sensation in my spine.
All the divers queued up and boarded a twin otter double engine aircraft. The aircraft taxi, takeoff, and eventual ascension to nearly 12,000 feet seemed something irrelevant compared what was coming. "Of course who can force me to jump if I don't want to" that was the thought running in mind during the time of the flight. It's odd how some silly reasoning like not wanting to disappoint your instructor could be a factor in one's resolve when death seems more than just a possibility, but it did. Finally when the plane reached approximately 12,500 feet the rear ramp was opened. In an instant my goggles smoked up, after the smoke cleared I was shocked to see the plane empty of the sky-divers. The only ones left behind were instructors and jump facilitators, all with a brooding grin on their faces. It was my moment of truth, no excuses. Those few seconds, my toes peeping over the edge of the plane, all I heard was my instructors command, "Now!", and I jumped. With the earth nearly twelve thousand five hundred feet below, those few seconds became the defining moment of my life. (Skydiving.com)
The first few seconds, I had a sense of falling, and falling fast. Those initial few seconds nearly took the life right out of me quite literally as during the first few seconds (till one is stabilized) breathing is strained. Suddenly everything became peaceful, calm, as if one was falling through emptiness into oblivion. The speed and that sense of falling were gone; replaced by what some would call weightlessness; I was floating for all I could say. Keeping an eye on the altimeter which showed nearly 6,000 feet (meaning I had dived nearly half the distance) I braced for opening the parachute. At soon as the altimeter crossed the 5,500 mark I pulled the ripcord. The parachute ballooned without any problems. The great anti-force slowed me with a jolt. The canopy flight, of course, was to take more time than the free fall. This was when I began getting a good look at my surroundings; the view was simply breath-taking. (Skydiving.com)
Ever heard the word "On top of the world" I'm sure it refers to the sky-diving experience and nothing else. After taking in the scenery for a while it was time to get the bearings right for the landing. The tension mounted again as I neared the landing area, piercing the clouds. But maneuvering the chute proved to be easier than I considered it to be. Eventually I landed,