There is no better place to take the plunge in the Badlands than at Alberta Skydivers Ltd.
Situated just east of Beiseker on Highway 9 at the municipal airport, Alberta Skydivers has been owned and operated by Ian Flanagan for the last 11 years. He explains they specialize in first jumps for the curious and the adventurous.
“First-time divers coming to do a tandem jump is what we do. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time commitment, just two or three hours, and it gives them a chance to do their first jump,” he says.
It takes motivation to step out of an aircraft at 10,000 feet, and Flanagan says there are all kinds of different reasons to jump.
“It all depends, you get the 18-year-olds just looking for something exciting, to the 80-year-olds, and today is the day they come out,” he said.
While hundreds of residents and visitors drive by daily, he sees people from all over willing to try out skydiving.
“We have people that have booked online from Japan, Germany, the United States,” he said. “We have had tourists who are coming to Calgary or going to Drumheller and they include stopping by us as part of their holiday.”
A first timer can do a tandem jump, where they attached to an experienced instructor. After paperwork is completed, participants watch a short video and then receive a ground lesson from an instructor. The plane takes the divers to 10,000 feet.
“Out they get, and they get to freefall for about 40 seconds and they get a five or six-minute parachute ride,” he said.
Flanagan estimates that 1 in 100 who try it out come back for more.
“The next step after the tandem jump is the first jump course. It is an all day course where you jump at the end of the day. You leave the airplane, with parachute activated by the instructor and then from there you gradually progress to longer delays and higher altitudes
through a program designed by the Canadian Sport Parachuting Association,” said Flanagan. “At the end of the process, you are a skydiver.”
For more information go to www.skydivecalgary.com or call 1-403-947-3904