I haven’t posted any skydiving videos for a while, largely because I’ve long depended on other people, with cameras, to video me in freefall. This Christmas, my lovely wife got me a GoPro, however, and the other day I finally broke it out to video a jump or two! It so happens that this week was Carolinafest at Skydive Carolina, a week-long skydive “boogie” with lots of visitors, trainers, load organizers and, of course, cool aircraft. I took the opportunity today to make two jumps out of a helicopter, which was a perfect opportunity to try the camera in action.
I was originally planning to just stand on the strut of the helicopter and hop off, but the first group I jumped with insisted on hanging from the strut! It is not exactly easy to get down in a hanging position on a lonely metal bar 5,000 feet above the ground, and I wasn’t sure I could do it, but I managed!
There are a couple of cool things about doing a helicopter skydive. Like hot air balloons, helicopters can move with little or no horizontal motion, so one can experience genuine freefall with almost no wind resistance. It is a weird feeling — the first time I jumped from a balloon I involuntarily shouted “Holy CRAP!”
The other cool thing about helicopter jumps is the ride up. The helicopter doesn’t have its doors, so one gets an entire open-air view of the countryside for the entire ride to altitude. I included this ride in the video — if you just want to see the jump and canopy ride to the ground, skip to about 7:39.
This video is the second helicopter jump I made today — if I have time, I’ll add the first later!
Update: here’s the video of the first helicopter jump! Very much like the second.