If there’s one thing that the movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara taught us, it’s that the initial inertia and fright of heights goes off the moment you find yourself hanging to a parachute, some thousands of feet above the ground, flying in line with clouds and looking below how tiny everything really is compared to this big wide world. As scary and nerve-wracking as it may seem, nothing can give you more peace than jumping off an aeroplane and hanging mid-air!
Skydiving or parachuting is an air sport that involves jumping off a high point in Earth and controlling the speed of one’s flight by deploying a parachute attached to the flier’s back. Tandem joy flights are done with a guide that helps the flier deploy the parachute. Before each joy flight, a small instructive session is undertaken where the flier is guided about the posture to be maintained in flight and given emergency training as well.
Skydiving, like most other adventure sports, is both a recreational and competitive sport. Skydiving competitions include a number of events like canopy formation, accuracy landing, skydiving formation and wingsuit flying amongst many others.
The first ever recorded parachute jump was done by the very inventor of the parachute, a Frenchman called Andre-Jacques Garnerin in 1797. But it wasn’t until 1919 that the first intentional free-fall jump was done by Leslie Irvin with a ripcord-operated parachute. Soon after, parachuting was widely done for military purposes, especially by military aviators to escape the aircraft in case of an emergency. This exit method was used in both World War I and World War II extensively.
Best Places to Go Skydiving in India
Skydiving in India is a relatively newer phenomenon, with not a lot of options to choose from. But the ones that do exist, put their heart and soul to make sure that divers feel absolutely at ease, ensure proper safety methods, and make the flight a memorable experience! Let’s have a look at some of the best places for skydiving in India.
Picture yourself free falling from an incredible height, flying as the birds do, just moments before your guide deploys the parachute. Soon you will be hovering over a mesmerising blue lake, meeting the sky at the horizon. What could be better, yeah? Deesa is India’s first ever skydiving site operated by the good ol’ trusted Indian Parachuting Federation. So there’s perhaps no better place to take your first flight than skydiving in Deesa, isn’t it?
ALIGARH, UTTAR PRADESH
One of the newer kids on the block, SkyHigh India is the nearest skydiving option for our dear Delhiites. With prices starting from INR 25,000 for a tandem jump, SkyHigh is sure to make you feel at ease as you take a leap of faith and plunge yourself from an aircraft some 15,000 feet in the air! Their packages vary depending on the services you avail- you can choose to get a T-shirt, a video recording of your jump, or a group jump as per what you fancy the most to go along with your experience of skydiving in Aligarh.
PONDICHERRY, TAMIL NADU
This city is so famous for its skydiving that it’s got three operators running in full swing, providing top of the class facilities for jumping off an aeroplane! Skydiving in Pondicherry, with the sandy shores of the Bay of Bengal keeping you company as you spend some of the best few minutes of your life mid-air, is perhaps the best way to do it. Waltair Escapade Thrills, Skyriders, and Mysore are the three operators providing skydiving experiences in Pondicherry.
Best Time to Go Skydiving in India
We’re sure you must’ve heard it- any time is the best time for skydiving in India! Except for well, of course, windy days and rainy months!
Sky Diving Courses and Certifications
The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale or the FAI is the highest governing body that oversees all aspects of skydiving around the world including international championships and world records. Each country then has its own governing bodies for the sport which issues licenses and organizes events within the country. For India, it is the Indian Parachuting Federation which is also a member of the Aero Club of India, the body governing all aero sports in the country.
There are plenty of skydiving operators providing skydiving courses in India. To be professionally certified as a skydiver, one must obtain at least a license ‘A’ in skydiving. Subsequently, license ‘B’, ‘C’, and ‘D’ can also be obtained if one wishes to pursue skydiving as a career. Skyriders in Mysore offer license ‘A’ certification program and their instructors are certified from the United States Parachute Association’s (USPA).
Career in Sky Diving
As a skydiver, one is free to choose the kind of work they wish to pursue be it as a skydiving instructor, guide, photographer or just about anything and everything under the sun (both literally and metaphorically).
Good to Know Before You Go
Here are a few things to keep in mind before you go skydiving in India:
• Wear light and lose clothes, coupled with a good pair of sports shoes.
• People between the ages of 18 to 60 are free to skydive in India. If you are under, you’ll need your parents’ or guardian’s presence, and if you’re over, you’ll need a clearance from your doctor.
• The ideal weight for skydiving is under 90 kilograms.