I have been very fortunate to have flown in the best first and business class cabins in the sky. For many people, doing something like that is a once in a lifetime goal but I have done it dozens of times, thanks to miles and points. In these experiences, I never want to get off the plane because the experience is just too good!
Top Airplane Experience – Jumping OUT of an Airplane
But, my top airplane experience for 2022 was not in first class or business class. In fact, I didn’t even have a seat! 🙂 It was jumping out of the airplane in my first ever skydiving jump. And, not just anywhere, but I did it in northern Greece!
I have never been someone who felt sick or scared in small aircraft. But, if I had been like that, I know that having a parachute on board would have made it a little easier! For my first jump, it was a tandem skydive where the instructor was behind me. The way we were connected was that she had the parachute on her back and then my harness was connected to the parachute as well.
We went up with a friend of mine who was going to do a static jump (where the parachute line is pulled as he drops from the plane). This would happen at 3,500 feet and then we would go up to 10,000 feet to jump from there. This meant that we would free fall from our exit until 3,500 feet at which point the instructor would pop the chute and we would make the slow descent from there to the landing zone.
I had always thought that if I ever did have the chance to skydive that jumping from the plane would be the absolute worst part. I always saw myself backing away at the last moment and not being able to go through with it. As we went through the process on the ground so the instructor could show me what we would do, I thought it wasn’t that big of a deal as we practiced.
The process would be with me going up next to the door and then the pilot would open the door. At that point, the instructor and I would be connected to the parachute. I would need to step outside of the door on to the step over the tire. I would be holding on to the sides of the airplane while doing that and then stepping out with my other foot so I was now standing completely outside the plane and just holding on to the sides of the airplane.
But, during practice, there is one thing that cannot be practiced and that is the wind! Flying along at the speeds we were, the wind is whipping at you and you hear the roar of the wind as you step outside of the plane. Then, you are very aware that you are now standing above just the ground below you – 10,000 feet below you.
I never needed to worry about being too scared. I wasn’t scared at all and was actually very excited looking forward to the jump. The instructor pushed us away and we were in free fall! We were falling at about 120mph for 30 seconds and it was way more than I could ever put into words! The experience of free falling without seeing anything around you but the ground is just incredible!
Then the parachute deployed and we slowly glided the rest of the way. I have to say – my worst fear going into this experience was realized. I want to do it again! And, there are some really cool places in the world to do it (like in Dubai!). But, Greece may be one of the few places that allows the student to jump with a GoPro on. In the US and many other places I saw, you are required to have a minimum of 200 jumps before you are allowed to wear an action camera!
I still flew some great business class cabins this year but my favorite airplane experience in 2022 was definitely jumping out of an airplane!
To read more about it, check out my original post here.