You can earn money on skydiving, but so far there is no one. Along with other extreme sports, skydiving is primarily carried out by lawyers, middle and top managers, IT-specialists, that is, those who experience nervous and physical stress at work.
“Well, what can I say about a man who has spent several thousand dollars to jump from a normally flying plane upside down with a bag of rags behind his back?” – the psychiatrist in the district military registration and enlistment office jokes, looking around the discordant line of sufferers to get help-permission for parachute jumping. And the envy of the local military commissar with a smile puts the stamp “healthy.” It’s an amazing thing, but among the whole team of amateur parachutists there was not one fit for military service and, accordingly, served in the army.
Skydiving (skydiving, eng., Lit. – “diving into the sky”) is gradually becoming a popular pastime of the Ukrainian middle class. Under this common name for almost all parachute disciplines there are about ten different ways of hovering to the ground. Along with other extreme sports, skydiving is primarily carried out by lawyers, middle and top managers, IT-specialists, that is, those who experience nervous and physical stress at work.
For the opportunity to take a break from the frantic pace of life and unleash emotions, they are ready to pay from 80 to 160 UAH per jump. According to Dmitry Karpekov, President of the Association “Para-Skuf” and Vice-President of the Federation of Parachuting of Ukraine (FPSU), almost all skydivers are people with incomes above average. They are willing to pay more for the corresponding service and infrastructure. This is exactly what Ukraine lacks.
According to the FPSU, in our country there are about 30 aviation transport clubs (ASC) that have permission to organize parachute jumps. It seems to be not so little to meet the increased demand. Meanwhile, the modern dropzone (DZ, from the English. Dropzone – drop zone), one-two and miscalculated. Most of the flying clubs work in the old manner, still retaining the DOSAAF approach to work and their attitude to skydivers. As a matter of fact, for the time being either parachutists are engaged in the business of their business, for whom profit is not the main thing, or the successors of organizations that owned flying clubs before the collapse of the USSR sports structures. But, as the experience of neighboring Russia shows, not to mention the United States and Europe, professionals will very soon be replaced by amateurs. The one who is now investing in the organization of a modern flying club ensures a stable income for himself in the future.
You are not there
In Soviet times, two categories of people jumped with a parachute: the military and athletes. After the collapse of the USSR, the financing of sports clubs that formed the Airborne Forces reserve gradually stopped. The Society for the Promotion of the Defense of Ukraine (ASOU), the heir of DOSAAF, could do nothing to help the ASC, which were unprofitable. The more or less stable work of the dropzone was resumed only in 2000, when the Ukrainian middle class showed interest in skydiving. A wealthy audience pulled on extreme.
However, the quality of the services offered by the clubs did not at all correspond to the increased demands of the parachutists. In the clubs that previously belonged to DOSAAF, jumps were carried out on round uncontrolled parachutes of still Soviet production, according to Soviet training programs. Modern technology and training programs are not used. Worn-out parachutes, which often developed their resources, certainly added thrills, but did not guarantee safety. Therefore, first in the neighboring Russia, and then in Ukraine, DZs began to appear, offering modern and safe training programs for parachuting.
There are only three such DZs in Ukraine: two near Kiev and one near Dnipropetrovsk. But they are not always able to meet the growing demand. For example, not only Kiev parachutists, but also skydivers from Lviv, Lugansk, Odessa come to Dorozhye Borodyanka (Association PARA-SKUF, Kiev region) … Last year, according to Dmitry Karpekov, more than 14 thousand jumps. While for most former DOSAAF clubs, the rate is 2-3 thousand per season (usually from April to October, as long as the weather permits). For comparison: on each of the leading Russian DZ (Stupino and Kolomna), 80 thousand jumps are made per year – this is approximately equal to the annual number of jumps in all flying clubs of Ukraine.