The body shudders, the engine takes up half the plane
We’re sitting close, all of us, ass to back
We make a turn,
Now we’re on the runway
The trees start moving faster, the ground even more
Seatbelts! People fumble around their legs, reaching back, finding buckles
Out the window is a blur, we’re really moving
Wings cutting the air
You can’t see it but you know it’s there
Close the door!
It’s quieter inside but talking is still a shout
The wheels stop rolling, they’re not on the ground anymore
It’s smoother than I thought, big yellow cuts through the air
We head over the road, over the fields, over the ponds, you can see all of it,
My altitude meter goes out of the red, 1000 ft 2000, 3000
How’s the storm?
I’ll go around it the pilot says
I go over the steps in my head,
Horizon, ground, altitude, horizon, ground, altitude, horizon, ground, altitude
7000 ft is lock on time, keep your eyes on the meter
6000 ft is pull time
After 10-seconds we’ll be falling at 1000 ft every 5-seconds, just over a minute until creaming in John says
We pass through the clouds, we’re above them, 12,000 ft
Everyone starts checking each other one last time
My altimeter hits 14, time to jump.
The light comes on,
Open the door!
No one hears it
Open the door!
The door comes open
Out go the first two
Then the next one and a few more
We shuffle forward, Doily is strapped to my back, there isn’t room to stand so we keep shuffling
It’s our turn
My right foot goes against the door frame, my left foot goes on the edge, my hands are holding the side of the plane my hair’s in the wind and I can see the wing of the plane, except there’s no window this time
I do the checks, check in, okay, check out, okay, I look forward
Horizon, pause, up, my head goes up, I look over the wing, pause
We leave the plane, I get into the position and hold it, hips forward, arms out, legs bent and pointing
There’s no stomach feeling, just wind,
We’re floating, floating above a cloud
I do the checks again, horizon, ground, altimeter, horizon, ground, altimeter
The arrow turns to the left, 12, 11, 10, 9
We hit the cloud, terminal velocity through a cloud, it’s cold and wet
We come out,
Horizon, ground, altimeter, horizon, ground, altimeter, 8, 7, lock on!
I watch the altimeter closely, 6 is coming, the needle keeps moving, halfway, three quarters,
6 hits and I wave my hands, it’s pull time
Doily pulls it and the canopy comes out
The air rushes into it, fills it up like a deep breath to lungs
We’re floating still but the wind isn’t as harsh,
I grab on to the toggles, we guide it in
The ground comes to meet us, I pull my legs up and we slide in
Back on the ground.
We check the video, I didn’t have my legs in the right place
Don’t move your head so much, look at the ground with your eyes not your head
The ground’s boring, look at the air