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Freefalling: Skydiving in Georgia

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We all have a bucket list and for adrenaline junkies, skydiving usually ranks up there. If you are visiting the Atlanta area and looking for a daytrip, Skydive Georgia will help you strike that one off the list with one of their tandem skydiving jump. This is one daytrip that will leave you with some real bragging rights.
Most people wouldn’t associate a visit to Atlanta with Skydiving, but Skydive Georgia is located in the North Georgia town of Cedartown, a little more than an hour outside of downtown Atlanta, Staffed by a group of people who have thousands of jumps under their parachutes, they can put your mind at ease about any apprehensions you may have about deploying a parachute at 14,000 feet.
The tandem jump means you are not alone. You are jumping while attached to an experienced skydiver. They know a parachute inside and out. Think about it. By jumping in tandem, you and your instructor are one skydiving unit. He wants this to go well as much as you do.
The Cedartown airport itself is little more than a small runway down a country road, but this is where people from North Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee take a daytrip to get their skydiving fix.
For those who want to know what it’s like to fling yourself out of plane at 120 mph while attached to a perfect stranger, here is what happens.
When you first walk into Skydive Georgia’s hanger, you are guided to fill out the multipage disclaimer while watching an instructional video featuring Bill Booth, the father of tandem skydiving. (In full disclosure, I discovered later that Bill is the brother of a longtime friend of mine).
You then register and wait for your chance to skydive. The wait depends on several things, including whether you came with someone, if you’ve chosen the extra altitude option (a meager $15 to double your time in the air) and if you signed up for a video package.
Believe me, you want your tandem jump documented. Signing up means you are assigned your own videographer who jumps with you and records your every move. (In my case - Frank)
You are quickly assigned an instructor. Jeff was my parachuting expert; a fun, but yet no-nonsense expert who could answer any question you could think of about sky diving in tandem. He helped me get into my harness and then went over the maneuvers we would go through in the plane, the exit and the dive itself.
We got the call to go and walked up the hill to the airstrip. Soon we were on the plane, taxiing down the runway.
The interior of the plane itself has two long benches stretching the length. We loaded facing backwards with Jeff firmly at my back. The instructors and even the videographers acknowledge to the pilot every movement from takeoff to altitude checks. As we flew in circles and climbed, Jeff checked my harness to make sure it was tight and handed me goggles for my eyes. When prompted, I had to raise up and sit in his lap so he could attach himself to me.
We were now as one at 14,000 feet or 2.7 miles above North Georgia.
The Plexiglas door slid up. We scooted down the bench and towards door. Frank went out first and held on to the side of the plane, watching for our cue. I barely had my foot on the doorframe before Jeff pushed forward and we were tumbling.
Head back, feet tucked with the wind and the views of the Georgia horizon whipping by.
It was amazing!!!! Frank floated right up under me to get my reaction but I was torn between looking at the camera and looking at the scenery. Yes, this is February but I had no sense of what the temperature was. There was too much to take in!
And just like that, Jeff was tapping my shoulder. There was a whoosh as the parachute deployed, putting on the free-fall breaks. We started floating towards the earth, twirling in circles and gliding as Jeff maneuvered the parachute.
The view was incredible. This is the way to see North Georgia (and Atlanta in the distance).
We landed directly in back of the Skydive Georgia building, sliding in on my bum as Frank ran over to get my reaction.
That reaction? Let’s go again!!!

More Photos

Call ahead for an appointment:
http://www.skydivegeorgia.com
Phone: (770) 684-3483

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