Meet the Society: Freefall

An interview with the University's skydiving society

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Image courtesy of Greg Palmer via Flickr

What is the society for?

The society is intended to allow our members, who range from experienced skydivers to complete beginners, to jump out of planes together. We organise training with the drop zones, obtain discounts for society members and arrange transportation in order to make skydiving easier for those involved with us. It is also a great way to meet likeminded people and make new friends.

Where does the skydiving take place and how far from the University?

The skydiving takes place at one of our local “drop zones”. This year we will be jumping at either Cark or Black Knights Parachute Centre in Cockerham. The drop zone is responsible for all the training and technical aspects of the skydiving.

What happens in the society’s meetings?

On jump days (generally Saturdays) we meet early in the morning and make our way to the drop zone together. Those of us who are learning to skydive will attend a refresher training, and then we will do our first jumps of the day. Many of us will attempt to do multiple jumps throughout the day.

What socials does the society offer?

We intend to have a good range of social events throughout the year, from casual meetings after jump days to nights out in Lancaster. We hope to meet at least once a month outside jumping to discuss our progress and learn from each other.

Do you have a favourite memory with the society?

The first static line jump. A group of us had spent an exhausting day training, including countless times practicing our exits in a mock-up of the aircraft door. The atmosphere when we were finally riding the plane to jump altitude together was incredible. The first time exiting the plane was an intense adrenaline rush, and flying the canopy back to the landing area was the purest flight experience anybody could ask for.

What skills will this society help develop?

Solo skydiving will hone your abilities to remain calm and perform tasks under pressure. Skydiving can also change your outlook on life in general: conquering the natural fear associated with jumping out of a plane gives you tremendous confidence in facing new situations.

How does someone become a new member?

You can join us by visiting our page at https://lusu.co.uk/groups/freefall-080c. Membership is £15, and includes subsidised transport to the drop zone where possible. We also negotiate discounted jump ticket prices for society members with the drop zone operators.

What kind of instruction are new members given?

All instruction is carried out by the professional skydiving instructors at the drop zones. For those learning to jump solo this will include training on emergency procedures, canopy control, landing patterns and much more. At the end of this extensive training you will know everything you need to safely make your first jump. Students on the RAP course will also receive guidance while in the air via a radio mounted to their helmet.