Excerpts from June edition/product review by Kevin Gibson
The title, JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy sounds like something from a "Far Side" cartoon. However, New York Safety & Traning Advisor Tom Buchanan breaks the sport into manageable bits for readers ranging from the actively curious to those who have already jumped a few times.
The 228-page paperback describes the sport in 2003 for the uninitated. Buchanan's broad experience as an active skydiving instructor, rigger and pilot gives this book a solid technical base. But he never mires the reader in endless minutia or tries to impress potential skydivers with how much he knows. Too much detail has plagued many beginner skydiving books published int he past, especially about equipment and techniques changing so quickly as to make them obsolete beofre printing. JUMP! won't have that problem for a long time.
Rather than providing a string of information from start to finish, this book more resembles a website in structure. Buchanan organizes his information so any chapter provides a broad overview of the sport while focusing on one aspect. In order, he covers training methods and progression, regulations and certifications, psychology, equipment, aircraft, risk, body flight, drop zone life and choosing a school. For readers really pressed for time, an FAQ section in the back gives some brief answers and page numbers for more information...
...every drop zone owner should read this book to see what questions students might ask as a result of reading it. Buchanan provides some good ones: Who packs the student parachutes? What experience and ratings do your pilots have? How many students are trained at a time? How old is your student equipment? Does it have an AAD and RSL? Will I get an altimeter? Are you a USPA Group Member? Are all your instructors USPA rated? ...
Also Buchanan gives potential customers solid tips on what they should expect when visiting, giving...in general, his empathy for the studnet reader makes a good review for any skydiving instructor or drop zone operator. Marvelously, Buchanan has managed to remember and convey his own mindset in 1979 when he made his first jump.
Some DZs will want to carry this book in their equipment cases, while others won't want their students to discover it. JUMP!...is destined to affect how people shop for skydiving schools and what they'll expect when they choose one. Buchanan says he's already working on a second edition.Tom Buchanan is the author of 'JUMP! : Skydiving Made Fun & Easy', published 2003 under ISBN 9780071410687 and ISBN 0071410686.