Fascinating Skydiving Facts for Kids! (2024 Updated)
Skydiving is a popular adventure sport that originated several centuries ago. Although this sport wasn’t considered to be one when it first started, it has since become a popular pastime for adventure seekers.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at some interesting facts about skydiving, how it originated, and why it is so popular. Let’s get right into it!
What Is Skydiving and How Did It Start?
Skydiving is a sport that uses a parachute to help people descend to the ground from a great height, like an airplane or hot air balloon. It is usually a recreational activity, but in recent years, it has become an adventure sport, with the number of participants growing every year.
The history of skydiving can be traced back to the late 18th century when a French man named André-Jacques Garnerin jumped from a hot air balloon. However, most skydivers have since jumped out of propeller-driven airplanes.
13 Interesting Facts About Skydiving
1. Skydiving is often used as a safety tactic.
Although skydiving is commonly seen as an adventure sport, it is also performed as a safety tactic, particularly in the military. Many military pilots often exit their aircraft when they cannot be operated, if there is engine trouble, or when the pilots are faced with danger, and the aircraft cannot land in a safe place. Although this tactic isn’t used as often today, it was commonly used during World War I.
2. The number of skydiving fatalities has reduced every decade since the 1970s.
Although skydiving is dangerous, the number of people that have been injured or died from it has decreased since the 1970s. In the 70s, there were around 42.5 fatalities every year, but in the 80s and 90s, there were only 34.1 and 32.3 deaths in each respective decade. However, by the time the new millennium rolled around, the number of fatalities dropped to 25.8.
3. The World Record for skydiving had 164 people in it!
The world record for team skydiving consisted of a group of 164 jumpers! The group assembled at Skydive Chicago, and this event took place in 2015. The group flew head-down, and their formation of 164 people beat the previous world record that was set in 2012. After attempting to beat the world record, they finally succeeded on their 13th try. This team consisted of people from Australia, Spain, and the United States.
4. Competitive skydiving began in the 1950s.
Before it became a competitive sport, skydiving was something that only the military did. However, the first skydiving competitions were held in 1951 in Yugoslavia. However, several skydiving competitions are held yearly, including World Championships. They are held both indoors and outdoors in disciplines like Formation Skydiving, Style and Accuracy Landing, and Canopy Piloting.
5. Skydivers all fall at different speeds.
It’s interesting to note that skydivers tend to fall at different speeds. For instance, if you were skydiving with an instructor, you would fall at around 120 miles per hour. However, if you were skydiving alone, you could adjust the speed of your fall by changing the position of your body and its orientation. If you skydive with your belly facing the earth, you can slow the speed of your descent, but if you skydive headfirst, your fall rate will be much faster.
6. Skydiving photographers use their mouths to take pictures.
If you’ve ever seen photos from the point of view of someone skydiving, there’s a good chance that you were a bit confused about the perspective and strange angles. This is because skydiving photographers use their mouths to take photographs. The camera is mounted onto their helmets, and the photographers hold a clicker or switch in their mouths to take the shot. These photographers use different types of switches, including blow switches, bite switches, and tongue switches.
7. The highest skydiving jump was performed in 2014.
Alan Eustace currently holds the world record for the highest skydiving jump in history! He wanted to skydive from the stratosphere and began preparing for it after meeting with the founder of Biosphere 2, who worked for over three years on Eustace’s life-support system and parachute. After all the preparations were complete, Eustace jumped from the stratosphere using a hot-air balloon that reached a maximum elevation of 135,908 feet. He separated from the balloon by using an explosive device, and descended to Earth in 4 minutes and 27 seconds.
8. Joseph Kittinger set the first world record for the highest skydive jump.
Before Alan Eustace beat Kittinger’s record, Joseph Kittinger was the first person to set a record for the highest skydive jump, and even broke his own record. He was assigned to the famous Project Excelsior, which aimed to test the Beaupre multi-stage parachute system. Kittinger jumped three times, with each jump being from a higher altitude than the next. His first jump was from an altitude over 74,000 feet, while his third and final jump was from an altitude of 102,800 feet.
9. Cross-country skydiving is a popular skydiving discipline.
Cross-country skydiving occurs when participants deploy their parachutes immediately after jumping from the airplane. They do this so that they can cover more ground than normal under the parachute’s canopy.
10. Jay Stokes holds the world record for the most skydives performed in one day.
The highest number of skydives performed in one day was 640 jumps! Jay Stokes was the president of the U.S. Parachute Association, and he was also a board member as well. He broke his own world record by skydiving 640 times in a row in 2006!
11. Skydiving at night is also a popular activity.
An interesting thing about skydiving is that it is not performed only during the day. Many people enjoy skydiving at night, but it’s worth noting that this form of skydiving requires more equipment, training, and an advanced skydiving license. Skydivers must also consult a local safety official and have a lit altimeter.
12. Ripcords aren’t commonly used when skydiving.
It’s a common misconception that skydivers use ripcords, but this myth isn’t true! Skydivers actually use pilot chutes that are attached to a hackey. This pilot helps deploy the parachute safely.
13. You cannot talk when freefalling!
This fact shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, but in case you didn’t know, it’s actually really hard to converse with people when freefalling! This is because the sound of the wind is too loud, making it hard to talk or hear the other person. However, you can communicate with your skydiving partner by using hand signals.
Skydiving is an activity that isn’t for the faint of heart, but it definitely sounds like something fun to do when you want to mix things up. In this article, we walked you through a list of interesting facts about skydiving, some of which we were really interested to learn about. If you’re ever interested in learning how to skydive, make sure you consult a professional, and don’t go to an accredited school to learn.