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Northwest Georgia from 14,000 feet
Yesterday was the third time in my life I have done this. The first time was April of 2004 and the second time was July 24, 2010. I decided to go once again this past weekend so I drove out to Cedartown on Saturday but I ended up being disappointed because the cloud cover was just too much. I have nothing against clouds, just not THAT many, it was total overcast and I like being able to have a nice view on both the flight and the fall. Saturday was July 23 and perhaps it was by more than just chance that I decided to postpone my jump because the fact that I did it on Sunday the 24th made it the 6 year anniversary of the last time I went.
Sunday was cloudy but not as bad as Saturday, the clouds actually can make the experience more fun. Passing through them has a "cool" feeling. I had purchased my jump on Saturday and they told me that since it was paid for that if I decided not to jump Saturday I could come back anytime to use it. My tandem buddy just happened to be the same guy who took me in 2010, a guy named Ryan. I think perhaps the company arranged for that on purpose. We took off sometime around 2ish and it generally takes about 15 minutes to reach the drop zone. If there is one more thing that adds to the adrenaline rush it is the fact that you know you are jumping in one of the world's busiest air spaces, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Being about 60 miles away from Hartsfield and 14,000 feet up means that every so often departing and approaching flights go through the jump zone, that is one of many reasons why the FAA is so strict about communication. Thank God for radios and radar screens.
Finally we reached the drop zone and Ryan and I were hooked up tight to each other. This time I was not as nervous about leaving the plane as I was the first two times but there is still a certain feeling one gets when seeing the ground nearly 3 miles below them. I just recall saying "holy shhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttt!!" But soon the wind gets to intense that you cannot hear even the sound of your own voice screaming. This time we not only went through a cloud but we hit a few rain drops which stung a little bit but the pain was nothing unbearable it actually made the experience a little more fun. There's an old saying that goes "3rd time's a charm" and this was my 3rd skydive. I was looking down pretty much the whole time on this one and I saw that runway slowly starting to get bigger. Ryan pulled the chute at about 5,000 feet and we safely glided back down.