The first parachute jump in history is a bit debatable. While many seem to think that an extreme sport like parachuting has its roots in recent history, it has, in fact, been around for centuries. In 852 A.D., Arman Firman, a Muslim holy man, jumped from a tower in Cordoba, Spain. At the time, he was wearing a billowy, large cloak. While in theory this should have slowed him down and allowed him to float gently to the earth (he also believed this to be true), it did little to help his jump. He crashed to the earth at a frightening speed, but lived to tell the tale of the first parachute jump.
A cloak, however, is not a true parachute. Most give credit to Leonardo Da Vinci for creating the first designs of parachutes. Da Vinci spent years studying birds. He truly believed human flight was possible. He, therefore, spent an extensive amount of time trying to create a vehicle that might help man fly. While Da Vinci never tried any of his ideas, he left behind sketches and instructional texts dealing with the first parachute jump.
Over the course of the next few hundred years, others tried to create the first parachute jump, but none succeeded. All were unrecorded events. Andre Jacques Garnerin, in 1797, jumped from a hot air balloon with a chute made of silk. It looked as if he were following Da Vinci’s designs. The first parachute jump was a success, but there was little use for the parachute. It was considered only for show.
However, with the creation of airplanes, parachutes became more useful vehicles. By World War II, they were standard issue equipment for pilots as life saving devices. Today, hundreds of people make their first parachute jump each day. Parachuting has become an extreme sport of magnificent popularity. First timers take several hours of training to complete the first parachute jump. They are trained in everything they need to know to make the jump safe including what equipment is used during a jump, how to leave the plane they’ll be jumping from, how to us a reserve chute in case the first doesn’t open, and how to land. Historically, the first parachute jump is in question, but thousands make their first parachute jump each year.