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June 13, 2008 2:16 PM   Subscribe

Hey skydivers! What's it like falling through a cloud?

Was cloud watching the other day and saw some big fluffy ones floating around. No way in hell am I going to ever skydive so I was wondering what it's like to freefall through one?
posted by chugg to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
it's wet. just like if you stick your head out of the window of a moving car while going through some fog.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 2:22 PM on June 13, 2008

Best answer: Skydiving through or even near clouds is prohibited.

That's not to say it hasn't been done, of course, but the risks are very real and you're going to find few people who have first-hand knowledge.
posted by kindall at 2:27 PM on June 13, 2008

(That Google Answers thread does have a first-hand report, BTW.)
posted by kindall at 2:28 PM on June 13, 2008

I've gone skydiving twice now and, if I recall correctly, we didn't go through clouds. It's probably not safe, but even if we had gone through them I don't know if it would 'feel' like anything. Keep in mind that you're traveling at about 120 mph, so fast that to breathe you have to turn your head sideways to catch air. It's two minutes of intense speed, with a massive globe racing towards you, and once you open your chute you're below the cloud line. So going through a cloud would take a matter of seconds, and the incredible force of wind on your face and hands (the parts of your body exposed) I doubt you'd 'feel' anything, like moisture or particular coolness, except in a very vague sense. Of course, I've only gone tandem skydiving so maybe there are professionals here who seek out clouds or have better knowledge and experience.
posted by farishta at 2:30 PM on June 13, 2008

Yeah, wet, except imagine the moving car is doing about 115mph when you hit the cloud. Its already hard to breath because the rushing air fills your lungs and you have to work pretty hard to expel it at that speed, and now all of a sudden that air is wet.

Clouddiving is generally frowned upon in the skydiving community as reckless and dangerous (not just to yourself, but to people on the ground, too.

We've talked about it on the blue before.
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:37 PM on June 13, 2008

This is relevant.
posted by Class Goat at 2:37 PM on June 13, 2008

Fog is effectively a loe-altitude cloud, imagine falling through fog. Cool & damp.
posted by theora55 at 2:38 PM on June 13, 2008

Best answer: My first (and only) time up we fell through a cloud. It seemed as if a wall was rapidly approaching, and when you hit the cloud the wind resistance screaming in your ears dies and down the clime became warmer but noticeably more humid. And then the ground appeared again, suddenly, as if I had just opened my eyes.

To me it was the most memorable part of the fall, and to this day I can summon the experience of it and still get chills.
posted by OLechat at 5:06 PM on June 13, 2008 [3 favorites]

Neat question. Reminded me of a fascinating book by a pilot who parachuted through some very heavy weather. And led me to a cool site about free-falling. Lotsa cool stories for reading on a plane....
posted by dpcoffin at 5:27 PM on June 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

I did a skydiving course a few years ago and went through a cloud at one point. The wetness others have described is bang on, and the only thing I'll add is that there's a very sudden chill associated with it.
posted by twirlypen at 5:52 PM on June 13, 2008

I have skydived but not through a cloud. A friend did it recently and said that he felt ice crystals hitting his face.
posted by desjardins at 6:48 PM on June 13, 2008

Fog is effectively a low-altitude cloud, imagine falling through fog. Cool & damp.

...with a rather abrupt stop at the end.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:35 AM on June 14, 2008

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