Skydiving (w/ Parachutes)/Expert Profile

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Skydiving/Parachuting: First jump and jump training, equipment, drop zone operations, employment opportunities, lifestyle, general aviation...

Experience in the area

Lifetime member of the United States Parachute Association ("USPA"). Currently active as a licensed instructor, coach, and instructor trainer with over 25 years experience. Skydiving was my full-time career and primary source of income for over 10 years. Participating member of the USPA's safety and training committee. Over 10,000 jumps (military and civilian); traditional relative work/formation skydiving, aerial camera/videographer, canopy relative work, sky-surfing, free-flying, BASE, national competitor/team coaching experience. Multiple world records (Large formation)


Commercial/military pilot, air traffic control specialist, retired military officer, BS, JD (09)

What do you like about this subject?

Skydiving is one of the things in life that has immense power to instill confidence, self-reliance, and a sense of achievement in people. Skydiving is available to nearly every person and requires only the desire to experience one of life's opportunities or perhaps the desire to overcome what for many people is a natural fear.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

We are students in every aspect of life, every day. I am constantly learning and teaching, seeking safer, more efficient, more enjoyable ways to participate in the sport.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

People sometimes deliberately jump keeping their eyes closed for training/learning purposes.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

In the U.S. alone millions of jumps are made every year. In 2007 only 16 jumps ended fatally. Every day in a single four hour period, 20 people die in automobile crashes.(Average according to the Natl. Hwy. Trans. Safety Admin., see

Average Ratings

Recent Reviews from Users

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Vijay02/16/10101010Thanks Jim, that's very helpful!
prashant09/29/09101010Good evening sir, Thanks for the reply .....
Chuck12/16/08101010So helpful. I really appreciate it the .....

Recent Answers from Jim Graham

2012-06-22 buying rig:

Hi Mark,  Thanks for your question. Buying gear can be a bit daunting, but if you keep three things in mind you'll be good to go. In specific order, the three considerations are: Safety, Size, and Style

2011-05-28 Jobs with parachutes:

Hi Elizabeth,  Sorry for the delay in answering your question. I have been out of the country. The only jobs that will require skydiving licenses are job in the industry. Specifically, instructor jobs

2010-02-09 Becoming an instructor:

The cost to become an instructor varies. I noted that you are in the UK. I suggest that you contact the British Parachute Assn. (BPA) at:   they could provide you with accurate

2010-01-08 skydiving:

Dear JuJu:  Congratulations on your desire to make a skydive. It can be among the most exciting and empowering events in a lifetime. To find a local drop zone check out  it has a list of skydiving

2009-11-11 Career options:

Dear Kyle:  Thanks for your question. The skydiving industry is a pretty close knit community and, as you might guess, a seasonal activity. Working in the business can give you the opportunity to travel


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