Are you an adrenaline junkie? Or is your spouse? If so, I have the ultimate adventure to recommend for any thrill-seekers in your family over 18 years old.
I recently had a major birthday and decided to celebrate by doing something unusual... skydiving! Yes, you read that right. I decided to jump out of a perfectly good airplane and I LOVED it! So much so in fact that I am planning on doing it again every year on my birthday.
Now before you start calling me crazy, skydiving is actually much safer than you think. There were roughly 3.3 million USA jumps in 2019. The National Safety Council statistics show that the risk of accidents during tandem skydiving- where you're attached to an experienced skydiving instructor for your jump- are less than being struck by lightning or stung by a bee.
After extensive google research, I decided to jump with Skydive Georgia in Cedartown, which is about an hour west of 285. Having been in business for over 20 years, they have more skydive experience than any other dropzone in the Atlanta area by far. They take every available precaution to ensure your jump is free of any unnecessary risk, resulting in not one single tandem jump fatality ever! Their modern equipment is constantly cycled to ensure the latest and safest model is being used. Each rig consists of a main and reserve parachute with the added precaution of an Automatic Activation Device (AAD). If any problem occurs with the main parachute, the instructor will cut it and deploy the reserve, which is packed by a F.A.A licensed Master Parachute Rigger every 180 days. If worst comes to worst and neither parachute deploys by 1,650 ft, the AAD device will activate deploying the reserve parachute. Each instructor undergoes vigorous training to ensure they are prepared to handle any obstacle in flight.
All of their tandem instructors are licensed by the United States Parachute Association (USPA), having a minimum of 3 years experience, 500 jumps and a USPA Master Skydiving license. However, most of their instructors have been in the sport long enough to accrue thousands of skydives. After reading the reviews on Trip Advisor, I chose Charlie as my tandem instructor and I couldn't have been happier. Charlie has been skydiving for over 15 years and has over 13,000 jumps. His expertise, humor, and calm demeanor immediately put me at ease. Because I wanted to share this experience with all of you, I also opted for the professional videographer, David. He was great and as you will see, the video and the still shots were phenomenal!
After a brief video and signing my waiver, I was fitted for my harness and off we went. Skydive Georgia has a powerful DeHavilland Twin Otter plane that holds 22 jumpers, making it the largest jump plane in the southeast. It only takes about 10 minutes to get to the jump altitude of 14,500 feet (that's 2.75 miles!).
After getting in position at the door, I took a leap of faith and we did a backflip out of the plane!
Freefalling 9,000 feet at 120mph... what a thrill ... and what a view !!
At 5,000 feet Charlie pulled the parachute and we drifted peacefully through the clouds for about 5 or 6 minutes. It was so quiet and the view was breathtaking. Charlie pointed out several landmarks and he even let me maneuver the 'chute for some twists and corkscrew turns.
All too soon, we were back on earth. No, I did not have any grass stains on my white jeans. We smoothly slid down for a soft landing on the back of the harness!
What a fabulous experience... I cannot wait to do it again!
This is an exciting adventure anytime, but it's never too early to start shopping for that hard to find birthday or Christmas gift (even for yourself!). I promise you, it will be the best gift EVER!!!
Call Skydive Georgia at 770-684-3483 to make a reservation. Tickets are good for two years. Ask for Elizabeth and tell her that Macaroni Kid sent you and she will honor their Summer Tandem Special of $159.00 anytime!
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