In the United States there are many experienced skydivers with hundreds or thousands of jumps. Usually, an experienced skydiver owns his gear and his parachute and prepares his gear on his own for the jumps. The enthusiasts jump every weekend and whenever they have spare time. Here is what jumping is like:

* The first thing to do is packing the parachute and checking it.

* This is followed by the AAD (automatic activation device) set and check.

* The skydiver puts on his jumping gear and his parachute and is checked by another skydiver for the straps and rig to be well set.

* The skydivers embark on the plane. The number of the skydivers that can jump at the same time depends on the size of the airplane.

* The jump altitude is reached. The most common jump altitude is 10 000 feet and gives the skydivers a 45 seconds free fall before opening the parachute. The altitude varies and can go as high as 16 000 feet providing 75 seconds of free fall. Above this altitude, the skydivers would need supplemental oxygen.

* After reaching the jump altitude, the plane lines up with the jump site and the skydivers take the leap.

* In the first ten seconds, the jumper accelerates and reaches the speed of 120 mph. after this point of terminal velocity, he is in free fall.

* The parachute is deployed at around 2500 feet by a drogue parachute.

* The parachute is than steered to line up with the landing site and the skydiver lands.

The tandem jump

For the first timers, the best and most popular way to take a leap is the tandem jump. This procedure requires for the student to leap from the plane strapped to his instructor and fall with the instructors parachute (which is big enough to carry both your and the instructors weight and is controlled by the instructor).