If earlier parachuting was available exclusively to paratroopers and extreme athletes, now even a “mere mortal” who has reached the age of 14 and has no health restrictions can conquer the sky. However, in the pursuit of adrenaline, it is important not to forget about safety, therefore all actions of the parachutist and other components of the jump, including the minimum height, are clearly regulated.
Optimal height for skydiving
Theoretically, you can jump with a parachute from any height, the only question is the expediency and safety of this event. Based on these considerations, the minimum and maximum restrictions have been established. They are primarily due to the design of the parachute, as well as the preparedness of the parachutist and the type of jump that he makes.
Novice parachutists usually jump with a D-5 or D-6 landing parachute. Sometimes the D-1-5U parachute is also offered. The advantage of the latter is its controllability, as evidenced by the letter "U" in the model name. Jumping with such a parachute is carried out from a height of 700-900 meters. The opening of the canopy occurs almost immediately after separation from the aircraft.
Parachutes of the "Wing" type are often used as an alternative to amphibious assault. Unlike the first ones, they have not a round, but a rectangular dome. They require more training to operate, but they are characterized by high maneuverability and good lifting power. Beginners make parachute jumps of the "Wing" type from a height of about 1200 meters.
Professional athletes with good training usually jump from a height of at least 2000 meters. In this case, they have the opportunity to experience all the delights of free fall, which beginners usually lack. If the skydiver plans to perform any acrobatic elements, the height from which the jump is made must be at least 3000-4000 meters. Beginners can jump from such a height in only one parachute system by the instructor. In this case, the responsibility for the deployment of the parachute, control and soft landing rests entirely with the tandem master.
Why do we need restrictions and what is the critical minimum
The restrictions on the minimum jump height were not invented by chance. The fact is that it takes some time for the parachute to fill with air. If these requirements are neglected, there is a high probability that the parachute will simply not have time to open to the end, and the parachutist will receive serious injuries upon landing. The critical minimum for the full deployment of the landing parachute is 250-300 meters.
There are also small parachutes that are used to jump from fixed objects (bridges, rocks, tall buildings). This sport is called base jumping and, due to its high injury rate, is extremely extreme. The minimum height for jumping with such a parachute is 100-150 meters.
However, there are many records in parachuting, including the minimum jump height. The record, which no one has yet managed to break, was set by Tereke Spencer, who, during World War II, in 1945, jumped from a damaged fighter jet with a parachute from a height of just over 10 meters. However, it is hardly worthwhile to tempt fate and repeat his feat in peacetime in the absence of urgent need.