People are afraid of skydiving mainly because the popular culture has many myths related to it. These many inaccuracies which have been propagated are the primary explanation for the apprehension of skydiving. Along with the real explanation, here are four of these myths.
Myth 1: Don’t breathe during free fall
Fact: It is possible to breathe through free fall, as opposed to the way people like to believe. If it were not possible to breathe the skydiver would not be able to open the parachute because they would be unconscious.
Myth 2: You can have a conversation during free fall.
Fact: In movies this may be possible but it is strictly Hollywood. The truth is that you can’t hear anything when free falling, because the wind is so busy blowing into your ears. It’s impossible to try to have a conversation in those conditions.
Myth 3: If you don’t have one yourself, holding on to someone who has a parachute is possible.
Fact: This is indeed a film miracle and is unlikely to happen by 99 per cent. Such stunts have been pulled off but again it’s almost impossible and that’s because of the forces at work when the parachute opens up.
Myth 4: You can take five minutes to free fall
Fact: An airplane’s cruise height is about 10,000-12,000 feet, which means about 40 seconds of free fall before the parachute is opened. A five minute fall involves an altitude of around 60,000 feet and extra oxygen will be required.
Myth 5: My parachute is not ready to open
Fact: There are a lot of natural fears about your parachute not being opened but this has been taken care of with all modern parachutes because they are now equipped with a device that will automatically deploy the parachute if you don’t do it yourself. The device is called AAD, or Automatic Activation Device.
The two frequent explanations for skydiving deaths and accidents are mistakes of judgement and technique, and this is 92 percent. This means that if you’re well prepared for the jump and do all right for the time it takes to get to the ground then you’ll enjoy 60 seconds of free fall and live to tell the story.