Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.35

     challenging words:    altitude, beginner, certification, freefall, landing, rigorous, superhuman, testing, velocity, coaster, newly, reserve, operate, tricky, equipment, harness
     content words:    If Superman, Air Force

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By Colleen Messina

1     It's a bird...it's a plane...it's a skydiver! For those of you who love heights, wind, and dizzying speed, skydiving is a sport that will make you believe you have superpowers. Skydiving is not for the fainthearted, but some bold people love it. If Superman couldn't fly, he would have probably taken up skydiving.
2     At first glance, skydiving seems like a strange activity. The skydiver gets into a plane. The plane soars high in the sky, and then the skydiver jumps out at about 2,500 feet. With good luck, his or her parachute opens, and he or she falls gently to the ground. It is certainly not an activity that everyone might enjoy. However, for those who dream of flying, going skydiving is like having a dream come true.
3     If you decide to try this sport, you won't be alone during your first jump. Most skydivers jump with an experienced, trained instructor. This is called a tandem skydive. The beginner is attached to the instructor with a harness. The instructor controls the parachute. Instructors have to pass some rigorous requirements to do tandem jumping so new divers can feel safe trying it. They have completed at least 500 jumps, and they must have three years of experience in addition to passing a certification course.

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