Do I Want Skydiving Lessons?

Someone emailed me an ad today for skydiving lessons at the nearest airport.

I can think of any number of people who would want me to take them, preferably with a defective parachute; but I think I’ll take a pass on this.

Risking one’s life for God, family, or country is sometimes necessary. But to risk it because it might be entertaining? I don’t think so. No, I’d rather watch Columbo episodes.

Julius Caesar was a brave man, physically. He always fought in the front line, with his troops behind him. But he would have thought it folly to climb a dangerous mountain just because it’s there, or swim with sharks, or go skydiving just for fun. I’m with him there.

Because, you see, my life is not my own to do with as I please. God has a claim on it first, along with my wife, my family, my friends, and those causes which seem right to me. It’s not mine to hazard by jumping out of an airplane just for fun.

So,no thanks–but I think I’ll stick to basketball. That’s hazardous enough for me.

I’ll leave the extreme sports to the libs ‘n’ progs. May they never get enough of them.

6 comments on “Do I Want Skydiving Lessons?

  1. I’ve always questioned such “sports” myself. I’ve flown with a parachute when I had “spin training” and didn’t much like the idea of actually using it. But it was a regulatory requirement, so I wore it.

    Jumping can be done safely, but requires much in the way of recurrent training in order to remain safe. Great if you are fighting wildfires or in the 101st Airborne division, but probably not for the average person.

    Anything related to aviation must be conducted in such a manner as to anticipate problems and failures and to be prepared to deal with such. A good parachutist packs their own parachute and inspects every bit of the ‘chute and the rigging.

    When I flew, actively, I was pretty trusting in the people whom worked on the planes. Then one evening, while flying over some very rugged terrain, I almost lost an engine due to a mechanical problem that was known, but not corrected. Fortunately, there was someone in the right seat who could force the prop control full forward, while I flew the landing and we were alright. The next morning, the engine stalled while still on the ground and we had it fixed before continuing the flight.

    This was a new airplane less than a month out of the factory and supposedly in perfect shape. The mechanic where I rented to plane knew that a control cable for the propellor was improperly supported, but he let me take the plane on a 2,000 mile journey without bothering to spend the 15 minutes effort required to address this very easily remedied problem. When I told him that I almost lost the engine on Final while over rough terrain, approaching an airport, he shrugged and said he had known about it but didn’t think it was a real problem. I and three family members could have been killed. I was so angry at that moment that I walked away without saying a word. Now, 38 years older and 38 years wiser, I would have complained to the FAA and tried to have his license revoked.

    My point is simply that when you place your trust in others, you are assuming their bone fides, and bona fides is in short supply these days. I hold two Airman’s certificates and have worked as an aviation professional in the past, but I no longer fly, because I no longer trust the airline industry, the security measures emplaced and most certainly not the world of General Aviation (small airplanes). There are just too many irresponsible people out there.

    1. I also wonder about bungee jumping, running with the bulls in Pamplona, and other such nonsense. Anyone would think life was cheap.

    2. Mixed feelings. There is nothing wrong with the drones, in and of themselves, but they are being misused by many people. They certainly present a privacy issue, but also a matter of safety, if they are flown too close to a populated area.

      I have flown one myself, and they are quite impressive. I am certain that in a matter of a few hours, one could become quite proficient in their use, and they indeed have some very beneficial uses.

      They can be used for power line inspection, for surveying, tracking wildlife populations and to inspect tall buildings. The problem is that they can be used for intrusion on privacy, and that’s a huge problem. They can also be used in the commission of crimes and I’m certain that it’s only a matter of time before one is used to carry a weapon in a criminal manner.

      I suspect that there will be some severe regulation, sooner or later. Right now, the expensive toy drones are restricted to low altitudes and away from airports, as they should be. It wouldn’t surprise me if the regs increase over time.

      Nearly 40 years ago, a pilot of my acquaintance was on final to an airport in a light aircraft and an RC model plane was beside him. That was a very dangerous situation and should never have happened. I don’t have it out for RC planes, but they need to stay away from airplanes which carry humans. If one of those things fouled the controls of a real plane there would likely be a death. A prop striking one would also be quite risky.

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