It is believed that the activity of skydiving was created out of a necessity. This transition was basically due to the fact that both skydiving and parachuting was considered as a tactical move by many countries during World War I. The main role of parachute was, and still is, to save the lives of passengers in case of a plane crash. In 1797, the first recorded instance of the successful parachute landing was made by Andre Jacques Farnerin, who courageously jumped out of a hot-air balloon and landed safely. Over the years, parachuting was manifested in the form of an adventurous hobby called skydiving.
During the initial days, there were a lot concerns about the safety of skydiving. Some of the tools used by anti- skydiving activists were facts and statistics collected for skydiving. However, it was soon realized that the safety procedures and equipment used for skydiving are top class and accidents are rare. In one of the recent studies, it was revealed that the annual death rate in skydiving in the US, is 1 in every 100000 jumps. So, if we compare this rate with other normal activities, you'll find that the rate is quite low.
However, juts like any other sport even this activity faces some misconceptions. Here are some of the common myths that people have about this activity.
- Exclusive area of the rich: Many people think that this activity is meant only for the people of the high class society. No doubt, the skydiving gears are expensive, but there are some organizations that offer this activity for charity. Interested people can participate in these events for free. Another way to try this activity is by finding a sponsor, who is willing to provide finance for your skydiving venture for charity.
- Complete healthy: It is another skydiving fact that most people have about this activity. Many believe that a person who is suffering from certain diseases like epilepsy cannot participate in skydiving. Besides, every participant needs to get a fitness certificate by a doctor before trying skydiving. However, you'll be surprised to know that no person will get a fitness certificate even if he/she is affected with a mild form of a disease.
- Quiz facts: In 2006, in Thailand, about 400 people from 312 countries jumped from about 23000 feet and formed a flower-like shape. This formation lasted for about 80 seconds. However, one of the longest skydiving jumps was performed by Joseph Kittinger. He jumped from an astonishing 102800 feet, which lasted 4½ minutes. Though, the governing authority of the sports at that time disqualified this jump on technical grounds, but it still remains a high point in the history of skydiving.