Skydiving is an exhilarating experience. It’s a feeling of freedom that can’t be replicated in any other activity.

But not everyone has the chance or the courage to jump out of a plane at 10,000 feet. For those who want to experience the thrill of skydiving without actually doing it, there’s literature.

Reading about skydiving can be both informative and entertaining. It provides readers with an opportunity to explore this high-flying adventure from the safety and comfort of their own home.

But where do you start? With so many books on skydiving out there, it can be challenging to know where to begin.

In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the best books about skydiving. From historical accounts to personal memoirs and technical manuals for aspiring or experienced skydivers, we’ve got you covered.

The History of Skydiving in Literature

Skydiving has been around for almost a century. And like most things in life, literature has played an essential role in documenting its evolution over time.

One notable work that comes to mind is “The Parachute Manual: A Technical Treatise on Aerodynamic Decelerators,” written by Dan Poynter in 1971. The book covers various aspects of parachute design and development and remains relevant today.

Another influential work is “The Parachute Jumper” by Norris Church Mailer (wife of Norman Mailer). This novel was published in 1985 and tells the story of a young woman who becomes a professional parachutist during World War II.

The book provides insight into what it was like for women at that time as well as what it meant to take risks during wartime. No discussion about skydiving literature would be complete without mentioning “The Sky Is Not The Limit” by former Navy SEAL-turned-skydiver Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld.

This memoir describes his journey from a near-fatal skydiving accident to becoming a world champion skydiver. It’s an inspiring read that shows how anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

“Falling” by Robert Guffey provides a unique perspective on skydiving as a philosophical and emotional experience. The book explores the sensation of falling through the air and what it means to be in control of one’s own life.

Memoirs from Professional Skydivers

Memoirs written by professional skydivers offer readers an opportunity to learn about the sport from those who know it best. These books provide insight into what it takes to become a professional and what it’s like to live that lifestyle.

One such memoir is “Above All Else” by Joe Jenkins. In this book, Jenkins shares his journey from novice skydiver to world record holder.

He also discusses his time working for Red Bull as a pilot and professional skydiver. Another memoir worth reading is “The Art of Falling,” written by Craig DeMartino.

This book tells the story of DeMartino’s near-fatal accident while climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park and his subsequent return to climbing and skydiving after losing his leg. For those looking for something lighter, “The Accidental Adventurer” by Ben Fogle offers an entertaining look at Fogle’s journey from city boy to adventurer, including his experiences with skydiving around the world.

And finally, no list of memoirs about skydiving would be complete without mentioning “No Parachute: A Fighter Pilot in World War I” by Arthur Gould Lee. While not strictly about modern-day sport parachuting, this memoir offers insight into how early pilots viewed jumping out of planes as both exhilarating and terrifying.

Fictional Works Featuring Skydiving as a Central Theme

Fictional works that feature skydiving as a central theme can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. These books offer readers a chance to experience the thrill of skydiving vicariously through the characters they are reading about.

One such book is “The Perfect Mistress” by ReShonda Tate Billingsley. The book follows the story of a woman who decides to take up skydiving after discovering her husband’s infidelity.

Along the way, she learns new skills, makes new friends, and discovers herself in ways she never thought possible. Another work of fiction worth mentioning is “Drop Zone” by John Nance.

This novel is part thriller, part love story and tells the story of two skydivers who become involved in a plot to smuggle drugs into the United States. And then there’s “The Diver’s Game” by Jesse Ball, which provides readers with a dystopian glimpse into what life might be like if skydiving became an elitist form of entertainment reserved only for society’s upper echelons.

Technical Manuals for Aspiring or Experienced Skydivers

For those looking to get serious about their skydiving endeavors, technical manuals can provide essential information on equipment, safety protocols, and techniques for perfecting jumps. One such manual is “The Skydiver’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Equipment and Techniques,” written by Dan Poynter (author of “The Parachute Manual” mentioned earlier). This book covers everything from packing parachutes to understanding wind patterns and selecting appropriate gear.

Another excellent resource is “Parachuting: The Skydiver’s Handbook,” written by Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld. This comprehensive guide covers everything from basic techniques to advanced maneuvers and offers advice on how to deal with emergencies when jumping out of an airplane at high altitude.

“The Parachute and Its Pilot: The Ultimate Guide for the Ram-Air Aviator,” written by Brian Germain, is a must-read for those interested in ram-air parachutes (the type of parachute most commonly used in modern-day skydiving). The book covers everything from how to select the right parachute to advanced landing techniques and provides insight into what makes these aircraft so unique.


Reading about skydiving can be both informative and entertaining. Whether you’re interested in learning about the history of the sport or want to become a professional skydiver yourself, there’s a book out there for you. From memoirs by professional skydivers to fictional works that feature skydiving as a central theme, there’s something for everyone.

And if you’re serious about pursuing this high-flying adventure, technical manuals can provide essential information on equipment, safety protocols, and techniques for perfecting jumps. Whatever your interest level may be, we hope this article has provided you with some insight into some of the best books about skydiving out there.

High-level overview of the best books about skydiving

Skydiving has been a popular sport for decades, and it’s no surprise that there are many books on the subject. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, there is something out there for everyone. Here is an overview of some of the best books about skydiving.

The Sky Is Not The Limit – by Joe Kittinger

Joe Kittinger is a retired United States Air Force officer who holds several records related to skydiving and high-altitude ballooning. In his book, “The Sky Is Not The Limit,” he recounts his experiences as a test pilot for high-altitude balloon flights and space capsules. This book provides insight into the extreme conditions that he faced during these missions and gives readers an idea of what it’s like to push the limits of human endurance.

Falling: The Story of One Man’s Life-changing Fall From Grace – by Michael McEachern McDowell

This memoir by Michael McEachern McDowell tells the story of how he fell from grace after becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol following his success in skydiving competitions. After hitting rock bottom, he found redemption through religion and eventually returned to competitive skydiving. Falling is an inspiring read that shows how even those who seem unbeatable can fall from grace, but also how it’s possible to get back up again.

The Art Of Freefall Relative Work – by Olav Zipser

For anyone looking to improve their skills in freefall relative work, this technical manual by Olav Zipser will prove valuable. It covers everything from basic body positioning techniques to more advanced maneuvers such as docking with other jumpers in mid-air. This book is highly recommended for experienced jumpers looking to take their skills to the next level.

The Perfect Jump – by Tom Clancy

“The Perfect Jump” is a fictional account of a group of skydivers who plan the ultimate jump. Written by the late Tom Clancy, this novel is full of suspense and action as the team attempts to pull off their most daring jump yet.

This book is perfect for those looking for a thrilling read that combines adventure with skydiving. There are many other books out there on the subject of skydiving, but these four come highly recommended.

Each offers something unique and worth reading, whether you’re looking for inspiration, technical advice, or just an entertaining story. The best part about these books is that they show just how diverse and exciting the world of skydiving can be.

The History of Skydiving in Literature: From Mythical Origins to Modern Times

Skydiving has been represented in literature for centuries, dating back to ancient myths and legends. In Greek mythology, Icarus attempted to escape from Crete by flying with wings made of feathers and wax. While this is not technically skydiving, it shows a fascination with flying that has carried over into modern times.

The first recorded instance of true skydiving was in 1797 when André-Jacques Garnerin jumped from a hot air balloon using a parachute. In literature, skydiving has been depicted as both thrilling and dangerous.

One notable early work is Jules Verne’s “Five Weeks in a Balloon,” published in 1863. The main characters embark on an adventure across Africa via hot air balloon, culminating in a harrowing skydiving scene where they are forced to jump from the balloon to avoid crashing.

Another famous literary work that features skydiving is James Bond’s “Moonraker” by Ian Fleming. In this novel, Bond must engage in a daring mid-air fight while falling from an airplane without parachutes – a scene that has become iconic within the James Bond franchise.

Memoirs from Professional Skydivers: An Insider’s Perspective

For those interested in learning more about the world of skydiving beyond what can be found in fictional works or technical manuals, memoirs written by professional skydivers provide an inside look at the sport and its culture. One such memoir is “The Accidental Skydiver” by Glenn Bridgman.

Bridgman shares his journey from being afraid of heights to becoming a seasoned skydiver, including anecdotes about his personal experiences jumping out of planes. Another memoir worth reading is “Falling Through Clouds” by Damian Fowler.

This book recounts Fowler’s near-death experience when his parachute failed to deploy properly while skydiving, and his subsequent recovery and return to the sport. Through these memoirs, readers can gain a deeper understanding of the physical and emotional challenges that come with skydiving, as well as the camaraderie and community that exists within the sport.

Fictional Works Featuring Skydiving: From Theme to Plot Device

Fictional works featuring skydiving as a central theme or plot device tend to focus on the thrill of the experience, as well as the risks involved. One such work is “Drop Zone,” a 1994 action film starring Wesley Snipes that revolves around a team of skydivers attempting to recover stolen money from drug dealers. Another popular fictional work is “Point Break,” a 1991 film in which FBI agent Johnny Utah goes undercover as a skydiver to investigate a group of bank robbers who use extreme sports to fund their crimes.

The movie features several death-defying skydiving scenes, including one where Utah jumps without a parachute in an attempt to apprehend one of the robbers mid-air. These works highlight not only the physical aspects of skydiving but also its psychological effects on those who partake in it.

Technical Manuals for Aspiring or Experienced Skydivers: Understanding Your Gear

For those looking for more practical information about skydiving, technical manuals provide detailed explanations about gear and technique. One such manual is “The Parachute Manual” by Dan Poynter which covers everything from basic safety procedures to advanced maneuvers like landing accuracy contests.

Another useful manual is “United States Parachute Association Instructor Rating Manual,” which provides guidance for those looking to become certified instructors themselves. This manual covers topics like teaching techniques, student progression, and safety considerations for instructing others in this exhilarating sport.

Technical manuals provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the gear and techniques necessary for successful and safe skydiving. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced jumper, these manuals can help you improve your skills and knowledge.


Reading about skydiving can be both informative and entertaining. The history of skydiving in literature has a long and celebrated tradition that has evolved over time to reflect the changing perceptions of the sport.

From early literary works that depicted skydiving as a dangerous and reckless activity, to modern-day memoirs that celebrate the triumphs and challenges of professional skydivers, there is a vast amount of literature available on this subject. For those looking to learn about the technical aspects of skydiving, there are also several technical manuals available that can provide readers with an in-depth understanding of the sport.

Whether you’re an aspiring or experienced skydiver, these manuals can be an invaluable resource. Fictional works featuring skydiving as a central theme offer readers a unique perspective on how this thrilling sport intersects with various themes such as love, adventure, and self-discovery.

These works are not only exciting but also thought-provoking and may inspire readers to explore more books about the topic. Memoirs from professional skydivers offer readers an intimate look into what it’s like to live life on the edge.

These books are inspiring tales of courage and perseverance that demonstrate just how far passion can take someone in life. Reading books about Skydiving is a great way to gain insight into this exhilarating sport.

Whether you’re an experienced jumper or just starting out on your journey, there is something for everyone in these pages. So pick up one or two of these books today and get ready for an unforgettable ride!