Caitlyn Kelly

#HumansofArlington

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Caitlyn Kelly

Amanda Miller, Staff

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“When I was 10, my mom started skydiving. I had never been in a plane before, and I begged my mom and the owner to let me ride in the skydiving plane, but she was worried that I’d mess my ears up since I was so young and it isn’t pressurized. When I was 11, I finally talked them into letting me ride. So, my first plane ride was on a super king air. The thing about skydiving planes is they don’t have many seats, but this particular plane holds up to 15 people. The skydivers all sit on the floor, and there’s one seat for the pilot and one in the back for a passenger. When the plane gets to altitude, the pilot pulls negative Gs to help the skydivers off the floor, so everyone feels weightless and floats in the air. I thought that feeling was scary, but then they opened the door. The seat I was in was literally two feet from the door, and the wind was crazy. Each time a skydiver goes out, there’s this weird silence and then a rush of wind. I was terrified. Once all the skydivers are out, there’s no one to close the door, so you have to deal with it the whole way down. The pilot nose dives the rest of the way down. I was so scared. I screamed the whole way down. The pilot thought I would never get in a plane again. 6 years later, I am working on my skydiving license, I have soloed in a plane multiple times, and I am about to take my checkride for my private pilots license.”