No one bothered to close the door as the plane started rolling forward. I sat, straddling the bench and facing the back of the plane, with a line of new and seasoned divers behind me. As I stared out the opening, watching the ground get farther and farther away, I felt my instructor, Charlie, behind me fumbling with hooks and chains at my shoulders. I looked to my right. On the other bench, my best friend was also getting strapped to his instructor. Within minutes, I saw my friend’s instructor pointing him to the opening, beyond which I could only see blue sky. They shuffled to the doorway. Before I had time to process what was about to happen, I saw them fall out of the plane and disappear. Seconds later, Charlie ushered me to the same ledge. There was nothing but 14,300 feet of air below me. I felt a gentle push, and then suddenly, just…falling.
Thanks, Charlie! Tina Zdawczyk