Unconventional skydives: helicopter jump!

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.

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3 Responses to Unconventional skydives: helicopter jump!

  1. AbsentElemental says:

    So I have to ask…near the beginning of the first (well, first in terms of order on page, not the first jump) video, you have a yellow bracelet on your right wrist. Is that a preemptive medical bracelet in case you have to go to the hospital if something were to go terribly wrong?

    • Nope! It’s actually just a bracelet to indicate that I actually registered for the skydive boogie and paid to be a part of it. Basically like getting wristbands at a bar after being carded to show that you’re over 21.

  2. Bradley Kjell says:

    Very nice! I liked the part going up more than part going down. Thanks for leaving that in.

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