Skydiving is parachuting from an airplane for fun. Skydiving can be done individually and with groups of people. Training is required. Unlike most paratroopers, skydivers often wait until they are low, before opening the parachute. The jump can also be made from a helicopter or a balloon that is high enough in the sky. Skydiving can be an exciting sport.
Skydiving includes free falling (usually from an aeroplane) through the air prior to opening a parachute. Typically skydives are carried out from around 4,000m (or 12,500ft) offering 40 to 50 seconds of freefall time. Longer free fall times can be achieved by exiting an aircraft at altitudes much higher than 4,000m, but such jumps require pressurised oxygen within the aircraft as well as bottled oxygen for very high skydives. During a skydive, total freedom and control of the air can be enjoyed as well as many complex and spectacular manoeuvres including flat turns, somersaults and formation skydiving. Skydiving can be enjoyed either as an individual - doing solo jumps - or as part of a team carrying out formation skydiving. Generally, the term ‘skydive’ refers to the time spent in freefall from exiting an aircraft to deploying a parachute but skydiving does include some disciplines such as accuracy landings and canopy formation flying which concentrate on the time spent once a canopy has been deployed.
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