2nd September 2005 - The Parachute and its Pilot

Another skydiving book, namely "The Parachute and its Pilot" by Brian Germain, was digested during the past few weeks. It took me slightly longer than anticipated since I also did quite a lot of jumping when I had the fortune of receiving coaching from World Champion Nils Predstrup again; as a bonus I made it past jump #500 during the process… ;-)

The book by Germain however is an excellent information package for any skydiver who wants to know more about the inner workings of flight and the parachute, information that ironically is often ignored when one gets a parachuting license. Even more so since the most common cause of injury and death in the sport is pilot error and not equipment malfunction! This book might indeed save lives that would otherwise be lot to ignorance, but perhaps equally important it can inspire to follow a path of continuous improvement of the flight experience.

However, regardless of the factual information, I found the latter part of the book the most important. In this German addresses the nature of human fear and how it prevents us from both learning and doing the right things when needed. The knowledge of our own competencies as well as the flexibility to learn are key components to survival, but fear can destroy these both directly and indirectly. By understanding and managing the inner workings of our "brains" we can become more adaptive and aware in the moments that make or break us. Such wisdom will benefit us in both sports like skydiving as well as life in general.

[see perhaps the article "Mind and Management - The Other 90%"]

All in all a positive and new angle on the sports that everyone should try; skydive! ;-)

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Updated 2005-09-02

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