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The Conversation Has Taken A Sudden Dive

, , , , , , | Right | December 21, 2010

(I am answering basic questions for a potential skydiving customer.)

Customer: “How long is the free-fall part?”

Me: “About thirty to forty seconds.”

Customer: “Thirty seconds!? I thought it was like five minutes? That’s how it is in the movies!”

Me: “But that’s in movies. Actual skydives average about a thirty- to forty-second free-fall.”

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “Because that’s how long it takes to fall from the highest altitude that you can safely jump from.”

Customer: “If I’m going to pay $250 to jump, I want to fall for five minutes.”

Me: “Might I point out that it doesn’t even take objects in space five minutes to fall to earth? You could be in orbit and not get a five-minute free-fall.”

Customer: “So, if I call around, no one will be able to give me five minutes?”

Me: “No, ma’am.”

Customer: “Is there any way you guys could fly the plane higher so I’d fall for five minutes?”

Me: “No, ma’am, we cannot do that. Besides the fact that it is physically impossible, you would die. If you’re still hung up on this five-minute thing, call NASA and tell it to them.”

Customer: “Oh, so they do that?”


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