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About This QuizSkydiving has been described as one of the greatest adrenaline rushes a human being can have. So what keeps skydivers safe as they plummet to Earth? And what happens if something goes wrong on your jump?
How fast is a skydiver falling through the air in a typical jump?
A typical jump finds a skydiver falling at about 120 mph.
How long is a skydiver typically in free fall?
If a skydiver jumps out of a plane at about 10,000 feet, this usually means about 45 seconds of free fall -- referring to the moment the diver exits the plane.
At 2,500 feet, a skydiver deploys the:
At 2,500 feet, the skydiver throws out a drogue chute, and it deploys the main parachute.
automatic activation device (AAD)
The backup parachute is called the:
The reserve is the second parachute, the one a skydiver uses in case things go wrong. If the main canopy, or chute, fails, the skydiver can cut it away and deploy the reserve chute.
Skydivers can control their parachutes once they're deployed with handles called:
Toggles are the handles on the lines connected to a parachute that allow skydivers to turn left, turn right, slow down and make extremely accurate landings.
What is a bridle?
the pin holding the main canopy inside the container
a piece of nylon webbing that pulls out when the drogue is released
When the drogue chute catches the air and inflates, it pulls out a 10- to 20-foot long piece of nylon webbing called the bridle. As the bridle is coming out of the container, it pulls a pin, called the closing pin, on the container. This pin holds the main canopy inside the container. Pulling the pin opens the container with a small pop.
heavy nylon straps connecting the lines to the container
If something goes awry midjump, an AAD will release a backup chute at what height?
If a skydiver gets distracted or passes out flying though the air, a computer-controlled AAD (automatic activation device) will deploy a backup chute at 750 feet.
An AAD's cutter is:
the computer that measures a skydiver's altitude
a bullet that fires and cuts the closing loop to deploy the reserve chute if necessary
The cutter is essentially a bullet, and the computer sends the bullet a signal when it is time to deploy the reserve chute. The bullet, which is shaped like a knife at its tip, fires and cuts a piece of cord called the closing loop to release the reserve.
a battery that can power the AAD for up to 200 jumps
In tandem jumping, all skydiving pairs must have:
three extra reserve chutes due to the excessive speeds generated
a large drogue chute deployed to slow down the tandem from falling too fast
In tandem skydiving, an instructor throws out a drogue chute when the pair jumps. The drogue is out during the pair's entire free fall to avoid dangerous speeds they could generate due to their combined weight.
a radio communication system so that they can talk to one another in the air in case something goes wrong
How many jumps are made in the U.S. each year?
about 1.5 million
about 3 million
The United States Parachuting Association reports that about 350,000 people in the U.S. complete roughly 3 million jumps a year.
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