One of the questions most often asked by people who have never skydived is how it feels. People have a tendency to equate it to falling or plummeting downward. This may be because describing it in this manner delivers a frame of reference for people who have yet to experience it. It could be that people are under the assumption that hence the name of a specific portion of the skydive is free falling, then it must, therefore, deliver the sensation of falling as well.
In truth, when you jump from the plane on a skydive you are in fact falling toward the Earth, as a result of gravity. The sensation that is derived is another story and doesn’t according to numerous accounts from veteran skydivers and people who have recently tried it always equate to the feeling of falling as we know it. When you jump from the top of your stairs and quickly descend to the ground, you will feel as if you are falling.
When you jump from the plane, the plane is moving at the time, therefore, you will not receive the same sensation. Yes, you are rapidly falling, but you will probably feel more like you are moving against the wind slightly. You will have no notion of the speeds you are achieving because, to use a phrase we mentioned previously, in the expanse of the sky, there will nothing to help your brain form a frame of reference. For example, when you are standing next to the freeway and the cars are whisking by at 60 miles per hours if not faster, it’s obvious they are in an accelerated pattern, especially when in comparison to yourself, who is simply standing there.
When you skydive you will not be able to draw the correlation to how fast you are moving because there are no stationary objects hovering about to compare it to. What generally is experienced is a similar feeling to your hand being out the window of your car. A slight push downward against the wind, almost hovering or gliding.
If you were hoping to experience the rush of being rapidly hurled toward the Earth’s surface, don’t despair, there are plenty of other exhilarating sensations that you’ll encounter on a skydive.
For example, the slipstream that essentially pulls you slightly as you initially exit the aircraft will cause your pancreas to leap into your throat for a minute or two and it may even make a sound you’re not likely to forget hearing, a kind of “whoosh” but whispered and spoken rapidly. The sound of your scream as you jump or in the event you should you look down will make for some pretty amped up ambiance to elevate the impact of the experience. Especially when the sound that escapes your throat is jettisoned away as rapidly as it emerged.
If that doesn’t elicit a little skull rattle, then consider this, some people contend that when you look down from 14,000 feet above ground level, what you are seeing is in actuality the Earth the same as it would appear at 2,000 feet above the ground. Your brain isn’t capable of differentiating between elevations so just imagine what that massive lake would look like if your brain could form the image in reality. Pretty cool right?
The thing is we could go on and on all day discussing the various elements and principles that inspire all of the oohs and aahs during a skydive but to really know for sure, you are going to have to take actually go on one.