Some skydivers jump in groups. They are called formation skydivers. Formation skydivers link arms or legs during the first part of the jump. This time is known as free fall. The divers hold on to one another as they fall. They work together to make detailed patterns. Soon, it is time for the divers to release their parachutes. To do this, the divers break apart.
By World War II (1939–1945), militaries around the world used parachutes. Pilots parachuted out of damaged planes. And armies used parachutes to send soldiers behind enemy lines. In this photo, hundreds of soldiers jump out of airplanes. These soldiers were part of Operation Dragoon. They helped invade southern France. This area had been taken over by Germany.
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Would you ever want to try skydiving? Why or why not?
Have you read books about other sports that require safety gear? What sports are they, and what gear do they use?
How has skydiving changed over the years? How might it change in the future?
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