You made the decision to jump out of an airplane for your first tandem skydive. You've signed the papers, attended a skydive training class and are sitting in the airplane ready for take off.
Feelings of exhilaration, excitement and apprehension consume you.
But what's that rumbling in your tummy? Is that gas? Uh oh! As you climb up in altitude to a destination of 14,000 ft, you can't help but let a few farts escape. You look around the airplane nervously to see if anyone else noticed the stink bomb. Phew, combined with the smells of jet fuel and sweat it went unnoticed.
You think to yourself, "Why is this happening to me right now? Why am I farting on a plane?!"
The good news? You are not alone. High altitude flatulence is affecting everyone. The bad news? The entire plane full of skydivers are experiencing the same problem. There are other farting passengers around you.
So sit back, relax, and pull your tandem instructor's finger. They probably need to cut the cheese too.
The reason why everyone is blowin' hot wind is because of H.A.F.E. It stands for High Altitude Flatus Expulsion and is a common, awkward issue faced by anyone who flies in an airplane. This gastrointestinal syndrome causes an increased amount of gas to suddenly pass through your body.
H.A.F.E. is known for happening in aircraft flying at 11,000 ft or higher. At Skydive Danielson our airplane takes you up to an altitude of 14,000 ft. That gives you a whopping 3,000 ft of potential tailwind time. Airplane flatulence may make you nervous to fly, but don't worry because your fellow passengers are experiencing in flight flatulence too.
Just as gas expands in a balloon as the altitude gets higher, likewise does the gas inside your stomach. Altitude flatulence can be understood by looking at gas inside a bottle.
This picture, found on NZMA.org, shows the expansion of gas at different altitudes. This can be related to what is happening inside of you to create airplane flatulence.
Luckily for you, as soon as you exit the aircraft you won't be able to toot your own horn until your feet have safely landed back down on the ground.
Strangely enough, skydiving prevents you from farting. Even licensed jumpers don't experience cheeky squeaks in freefall until they have hundreds of skydives. Due to it's extreme nature of ''living in the moment'', skydiving prevents you from doing things like yawning or farting and even makes you forget about minor aches and pains.
Solutions for reducing farts before your tandem skydive:
The morale of the story? If you feel the thunder from down under while up in the air, let it loose! You won't be the only one!
If you hear licensed skydivers mentioning that they 'smell fear' inside the airplane you know a fart has been detected. Just be sure to tell your instructor to crack the door and let the wind clear the air inside the plane - a trick veteran skydivers know very well.