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smell at 10,000ft?

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gordyagusta | 17:42 Wed 17th Sep 2008 | Science
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Hi, I just did my first ever tandem parachute jump at the weekend... fantastic experience, but when i left the aeroplane to begin freefall at 10,000 feet there was a distinct smell in the air, I could smell it until we reached about 6,000 feet, its a sort of chemical/synthetic smell so much so that its one of the things that keeps coming back to me about the jump..... any one explain? Serious question, no silly answers please...

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What I've noticed in years as a commercial pilot is that those who fly hot air balloons can ascend, drifitng with the prevailing wind and then, with an increase or decrease of only a few hundred feet go entirely in a different direction. In other words, there are rivers or streams of air moving as winds rather than the misconception of the entire body of air moving as wind. I suspect that you entered one of these and the odor was probably from a manufacturing facility of some sort that may have been miles away.... That's the serious answer... however, if it happened immediately on exiting the aircraft, I would have seriously considered checking my underwear on landing... (sorry).
"I would have seriously considered checking my underwear on landing..."
I remember my first jump, and the examiner wrote on my log book: "Flat position, legs kicking, no audible count". I said of course my legs were kicking, I was trying to get back in the plane!

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