Will and Mayang's Travels - Skydiving, June 2006

After our experience Paragliding, we decided to go Skydiving.   It's best to go to Spain to learn, because almost every day the weather is suitable for skydiving.

See our jump videos:

Will5 (3mb)  Will6 (3Mb)   Will7 (13Mb)   Mayang4 (5Mb)

Will1 (6Mb) Will2 (3Mb)   Will3 (4Mb)      Will4 (4Mb)  Mayang1 (9Mb)   Mayang2,3 (12Mb)

First we have to do the ground school.  We learn about the theory, about skydiving, about parachuting , about landing safely, what can go wrong and what to do about it (for example, how to use your reserve parachute if your main parachute fails).  Ulli is Mayang's skydive instructor, here he teaches her the correct skydiving position.

We have to study aerial photos to make sure we can safely find the landing area.  We have to be careful not to land on the runway, or on the nearby motorway.  Fortunately, almost everywhere is a safe place to land.

Will ractises jumping out of the plane and immediately adopting the 'arch' position which is the stable free-fall body position.

Of course, it's also a holiday so we take time out to relax with the other skydivers, including Jack Osbourne (son of Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon Osbourne) who is here to make a documentary about extreme sports, which will be shown later in 2006.

And of course, we have lots to learn from Pedro, who is our ground school instructor as well as Will's skydive instructor.

When not learning, we hang out in the packing shed where each parachute gets repacked.

OK, theory over, it's time for Will to begin his course.  He looks understandably nervous in the plane about to make his first jump.

The view from the plane is the area surrounding the Spanish town of Ocaña (population 10,000, but it looks tiny from up here!)

Will makes the jump, with two instructors holding onto him for the first few jumps (Will is in the foreground, also visible is one instructor, the other instructor is also the cameraman).

The first jump goes really quickly, and it's such an overwhelming experience it's hard to remember it clearly.  The freefall takes about one minute, but it feels like 10 seconds.

Then, pull the parachute and check it has opened properly.

After about 5 minutes piloting the parachute, it's time to land safely and shake the instructor's hand after the first successful jump.

The next jump the second instructor moves round to the front, and you have to try to tilt your body to spin round and follow him.

And after a few more jumps, it's time for Will to fly unaided for the first time.  That's why he looks so happy!

Pretty soon it's time to learn some tricks, like flying in 360 degree circles, and doing somersaults out of the plane, learning how to go unstable then go stable again.

This is Will's last flight with the instructor.  After this he was allowed to jump solo (which is fun, but the disadvantage is that there's nobody to take photos).

Next, it's Mayang's turn......

Running to the plane, don't want to miss the flight!

It's very tight packing so many people into a tiny space!  

Mayang is ready to jump...

And now it's her turn.  This is on her fourth jump, when she only needs one instructor.  Unfortunately we ran out of time so Mayang did not get to fly solo yet.

After each landing, Mayang is happy and excited.  If you know her, you won't be surprised to hear that!

Thanks to Freefall University in Spain for a great time and hope to see you again soon.   Special thanks to Pedro, Ulli, Paula and Luci.

All pictures and other media are Copyright ©2006 William Owen Smith and Mayang Adnin.