One of my 2009 resolutions was to complete the Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) program which meant my first jump would've been solo. However, when I called Skydive New England to schedule the AFF jump, they told me the season was over and I'd have to wait until next spring. My girlfriend Jessica had already committed to jumping tandem and, although it was a little hard to accept the change in plans, I quickly got over it and decided to also jump tandem.
"For once you have tasted flight
you will walk the earth
with your eyes turned skyward,
for there you have been
and there you long to return."
- Leonardo da Vinci
It was absolutely incredible. We jumped at 12,000 ft. Everything happened so fast and it's still hard to believe it really happened. The staff at Skydive New England were awesome. Big Jim, the guy I jumped with, was really fun (he has completed over 6,000 jumps!) and the videographer (I forgot her name) was pretty good at getting me to make faces and talk.
I was surprised that I didn't feel more fear as I jumped out of the plane but I have a suspicion that jumping solo will be a little different. (With tandem, you're attached to an experienced skydiver who has had thousands of jumps and who pushes the two of you out of the plane. Going solo however, it's your own muscles that are pushing your body out of the plane.) I've already started saving for the entire AFF program (25 jumps) to get my A license next spring (that will allow me to jump solo anywhere for around $20!).
The photos are awesome (click the photo at the top to see the whole album).