‘10,000 ft.,’ or, ‘I Jumped Out Of An Airplane And Lived To Talk About It’

How to decide to jump from an aircraft, the Emily Nielsen way:

A month later we were on our way out to the Skiatook airport to risk life & limb for an exhilarating 5 minute plunge through the air.  ‘We’ refers to me, my brother Riley and my friend Greg, as well as my mom Karen, who was on hand to bite her nails and hope she wasn’t about to watch her kids die horrible, grisley deaths. (Spoiler alert: we didn’t.)

If you haven’t picked up on it, I have kind of a morbid sense of humor.

Once we made it to the Skiatook airport we filled out some paperwork, had a quick training session on how to jump out of a plane while strapped to a professional (when I say quick I’m not kidding, it was probably 5 minutes max) and then got suited up. I kept waiting to get nervous, on the way there, getting buckled into the harness, climbing into the plane,  making it to 10,000 ft., watching Greg jump out with his instructor, swinging my leg out into nothingness, but somehow the nerves never hit me. The free fall was definitely the highlight of the experience for me, doing flips through the air and being restrained by nothing except a harness. Things got a little more complicated when the chute opened and it was tangled (think of a swing on the playground being twisted up), but I still never had a moment of fear or panic. The parachute issue was kind of a bummer though, because even though my instructor fixed it right away it left us a lot less time to coast in to the ground, so our descent was a lot more rapid than everyone else’s. And I kind of…botched the landing. As in I landed on my (bare) knees and scraped and bruised the hell out of them. Which left me sore and kind of unable to walk for the next couple of days, but heyyyy, whatever, I jumped out of a freakin plane, it was still worth it.

Afterward Greg and I watched Riley’s jump and we were both glad we got to go first, because WOW that plane was high up there.

aaaaand the damage (ow):

day of

3 days later

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2 comments
  1. Bonnie said:

    With just 4 hours of training you can jump out without the instructor! And break your tailbone, like my husband did. :)

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