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Parachutes & Wingsuits

FMI: United States Parachute Association

Parachutists literally “fly” their bodies to maintain a stable free fall. Moving one open-palmed hand even a few inches in a terminal velocity free fall is akin to deflecting an aileron. Ask any jumper you know about the “snap roll” that can easily result.

After the parachute is opened, the nominal rate of descent drops to about 15 feet per second, and complex canopy control formations involving other team jumpers are possible.

After appropriate ground training, a student’s first jump is either on a static line attached to the airplane (a tether that opens the parachute shortly after the student leaves the aircraft), firmly attached to the same harness as the instructor for a 30-second free fall, or an accelerated free fall jump with two qualified parachute instructors manually holding on to either side of the student jumper.

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