Skydiving Comes to Delhi’s Durbar and The Quint Is Loving It

Skydiving Comes to Delhi’s Durbar and The Quint Is Loving It

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I jumped out of a plane!

I would never travel halfway across the world to do it, but as it was right next door in Aligarh, I thought it’s a good idea to tick it off my bucket list.

Who Are Skyhigh India?

For us Dilliwalas, it’s an easy one-day getaway. It took us a little over two hours on the Yamuna Express-way to get there.

I was met with stunned silence when I told my video-journalist, Sanjoy dada, that I was actually going to do this and he would film it from the ground.

Reaching the venue, getting out of the car and seeing a runway with planes parked is actually quite thrilling. People in jumpsuits and pilot uniforms talking about wind speeds, directions and a whole lot of technical talk totally puts you in the zone. A medical certificate from your doctor, one hour of training, a security check and boarding pass later, it was time to fly!

The brave smile before boarding the Cessna. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
The brave smile before boarding the Cessna. (Photo: The Quint)

Skyhigh India is founded by a young adventure enthusiast, Rudra Bhanu Solanki, 26, who is also India’s youngest skydiving coach with a license from United States Parachute Association (USPA). He had to lobby with the government for over three years in order to get the requisite permissions for skydiving in India.

Rudra Bhanu Solanki cheering his ground staff before take-off. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Rudra Bhanu Solanki cheering his ground staff before take-off. (Photo: The Quint)
I had to first convince my parents that I wanted to jump out of planes for a living. That was the hard part. But once I convinced them, I knew I could convince anyone. Skyhigh India adheres to the international standards laid down by United States Parachute Association (USPA) and the aircraft we use are certified by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Rudra Bhanu Solanki, Founder, Skyhigh India 

The tandem instructor, the man I was strapped to is Rajkumar Balakrishnan. He is in the Limca Book of World Records for being the only Indian to have completed over 5100 jumps. The chief pilot has over 6000 hours of flying under his belt. These facts were comforting!

Tandem master, Rajkumar, gathers his parachute after landing. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Tandem master, Rajkumar, gathers his parachute after landing. (Photo: The Quint)

Tandem Jump: All Fun and No Work

The tandem jump is actually easy-breezy. Easy because the instructor you are strapped to has full control and all you have to do is enjoy the view. Breezy, because the ride up to 8000 feet is in a plane, with an open door! At 8000 feet, you’re sitting on the edge of the plane and all your instructor tells you to do at that point is breathe! The rest, as they say, is history.

I was nervous as hell, but I would definitely do it again, all over again!

Also Watch: Coming Soon: Skydiving is Here, The Quint Takes the Plunge

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