Skydiving over Homestead

Trip Start May 10, 2009
1
Trip End May 10, 2009


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Flag of United States  , Florida
Sunday, May 10, 2009

Well I did it again!!! My second skydive attempt went off without a hitch today. What was supposed to take place on April 25th had to be postponed till today, May 10th - Mothers Day. My first jump took place, I believe, 6 years ago. Originally I had considered doing a solo jump, which requires an 8 hour ground school class, but nerves and finances eventually took over and I opted to repeat a tandem jump. The fact that my buddy Alex thought it would be funny to send me the following article (http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/MI105795/) a few days before our jump had nothing to do with it ..... really ..... nothing !!!

At 7am I was making my way to Homestead General Airport (http://www.miami-airport.com/html/homestead_general__x51_.html) where Skydive Miami is located (http://www.skydivemiami.com/skydive/). It was a nice cool morning, which I knew would not last as we have been experiencing temperatures in the 90's these last few days. On approach to the airport I saw two hot air baloons making their decent into the Homestead farm fields.

I arrived at Skydive Miami at 8am, and was suprised to find nobody there. "Uh oh" was what came to mind, but a few minutes later staff started arriving. By 8:30 everyone had arrived. Alex, a colleague from work, is a professional skydiver with over 250 jumps. Victoria, another colleague from work, and Lu, a friend, were first time jumpers.

Victoria, Lu and I had to watch an 8 minute safety video and sign away our lives. The video was narrated by a guy who looks like he was a band member of ZZ-TOP (http://www.zztop.com/). No joke - see the video clip I attached - LOL. The 5 or so pages we had to fill out included questions like "Do you realize you can be seriously injured, upto and including death?", and "Do you still wish to do this?" ....... my response "Ummmmm  yes?"

Therafter it was time to suit up. As we put on our jump suits two staff members instructed us on the procedures to enter the aircraft and how to position ourselves. After our harnesses were strapped on snugly it was just a matter of waiting for our turn. We were scheduled on the second flight up, which took off around 10am. Before we boarded the aircraft (a Cessna Caravan) we each met our individual instructors and photographers. My instructor was Greg, and my photographer was Caroline.

So up, and up, and up we went. 3000 feet, 5000 feet, 8000 feet, and finally 13,500 feet when the aircraft door was rolled up and we got to taste some fresh high altitude air. Alex was the first man out. One minute we were all giving each other high fives, and then I turned around to answer a question to my instructor who was sitting behind me, and when I turned back forwards Alex was gone. Victoria was next and she was quite the trooper. She put on a big smile, crossed her arms to her chest, inched her way upto the aircraft door and then ....... they kicked her off the plane and all I could hear was "aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh". Ha ha ha, well there was no kicking going on - the instructors and photographers jumping with us were true professionals.

Then it was my turn, the time had come, I was checking out where the avocado groves were located (you must read the article to get the joke). I ensured my instructor was conscsious and in a good mood (nothing worse than an instructor who woke up on the wrong side of bed). I started remembering my first jump where we inched towards the door and then had a last minute pep talk, and where they gave me the choice of backing out one last time. And all of a sudden I found myself inching towards the door again, but we were not slowing down as we approached the door, and there was no pep talk taking place, and all of a sudden I was leaning out of the plane thinking to myself "where the hell is my pep talk" and then I was falling to earth and all my troubles went away. Serenity and bliss took over.

Here I was falling down to earth at +/- 120mph with nothing in between me and the ground. Then, out of nowhere Caroline floats in right beneath me and sticks her camera in my face. Then Greg decided to attach to her legs in what I thought was the beginning of some sort of skydiving mating ritual and I quickly reminded them that I was still there   :o)   and all of a sudden Caroline began to drift away and our chute deployed. Had a minute already gone by? Wow - time flies when you are having fun !!! What a fitting expression. On our way down I spotted Alex who had already landed and somehow I had passed Victoria on the way down so I landed before her.

Although I feel that we easily could have landed standing up - I assume that for safety reasons Greg opted to make a butt landing. A minute or so later Victoria landed, and a a minute or two after her Lu landed.

And that was it - I did it, again    :o)

solo04.gif (2441 Byte)

Skydive Miami

28730 SW 217 Ave
Homestead, FL 33030
800-759-3483

Tandem Prices:

1. Basic Tandem $199 - 20 second free fall from 8000 feet
2. Deluxe Tandem $229 - 40 second free fall from 10,500 feet
3. Extreme Tandem $249 - 60 second free fall from 13,500 feet

Solo Price:

Total cost is $380. It's $50 for an eight hour ground school training class. There is a mandatory $51 charge for a USPA membership (http://www.uspa.org/). Then there is the $279 fee for the solo jump, but this includes two instructors that jump with you.

Requirements:

1. Must be at least 18 years of age
2. Must weigh under 225 pounds
3. Photo ID required (before the jump)   :o)

A $25 deposit is requested with all reservations.
Cash, Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Discover are accepted for payment.
Wear sneakers and dress appropriately for the weather conditions that day.

Video and Photo Services:

1. Basic DVD
2. Digital Photos
3. Web video

Any 1 is $79, any two is $99, and all three are $109.
You can upgrade Basic DVD to Ultimate DVD for an additional $30 (includes computer editing).

lineland04.gif (1957 Byte)

The first time I went skydiving the instructor took the time to answer any of our stupid first-timer questions. One guy asked, "If our chute doesn't open, and the reserve doesn't open, how long do we have until we hit the ground?" Our instructor looked at him and answered, "The rest of your life."
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Comments

mike90715
mike90715 on

Good Luck!
Sounds great. I would have joined you, if I were in FL. Have fun.

Michael Jensen

jeanmarcfla
jeanmarcfla on

Skydiving
Not for me, thank you...
I am sure I will soon see a posting for bungee jumping!

a3dennert
a3dennert on

skydive
excuses excuses. Pat Wilson said he may consider flying down for the weekend to join us. A last jump he said.

a3dennert
a3dennert on

Re: Skydiving
bungee jumping??? Hmmmmmm now there is an idea.

ladygrace40
ladygrace40 on

Skydiving
I plan to do it :) - keep me posted on any updates

jeanmarcfla
jeanmarcfla on

Skydiving
I still haven't changed my mind. Have fun!!

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