It’s all too easy to get lost in Moscow’s urban jungle, with the natural world being something half-remembered from the airplane window on descent into Sheremetyevo. Somehow, inching outside of the comforting embrace of MKAD becomes the kind of thing everyone intends to do “next weekend.”
So, if you’re pining for a taste of the Russian countryside but need an extra bit of motivation, how about tackling it from the giddy, yet rapidly reducing heights of a parachute jump? Feel that adrenaline surge as you step out into the void, then pull the cord and enjoy the view stretching out beneath you as you drift gently down to Earth.
There are several clubs dotted around Podmoskoviye, and many of them offer “First Time” jumps with equipment and training provided from around 1200 rubles. One of the biggest is the Aerograd Club in Kolomna, 110km from Moscow. With opportunities to jump every day (weather permitting) and English-speaking instructors on hand, this has become one of the most popular places for parachutists from across Europe.
Andrew Gromozdin explains that the club has an international reputation for its quality, accessibility, and value for the money: Jumps here start at 580 rubles for a single plunge, plus extra fees for equipment hire. And the staff certainly know their stuff, with instructors including double world champions from Russia’s renowned four-way, eight-way, and skysurfi ng teams, meaning there’s plenty on off er for the serious aerofanatic as well as nervous debutants. Aircraft include a Mi-14 helicopter, a Let L-410 plane, and five An-28s, all of which offer jumps from 13,500+ feet.
Closer to home, Borki is the closest aeroclub to Moscow. The airfield at Dubna, not far from Sheremetyevo airport, is a popular choice for novices and experts. First-time options here include a round-chute jump from 900m, a wing jump from 1200m, and a tandem dive from 4000m, including close to a minute of free-fall.
As at Aerograd, no advance booking is needed — just get to the airfield in the morning and sign up — although the lack of English-speaking staff means sounding out a friend to translate might help.
Loose, comfortable clothes are recommended for all jumps. Shoes should support the ankle, so heels are not a good idea.
WHERE TO GO:
Aerograd (www.aerograd.ru — there is an English page on the website, but the most up-to-date news is in Russian) is based at the Korobcheyevo Airfield in Kolomna. Accommodation is available on-site, and the club will arrange pick-ups for visiting skydivers arriving in Moscow.
The nearest parachuting club to Moscow is the Borki Club, just north of the city. They offer first-time jumps from 900m, 1200m, and 4000m at prices from 1200-4600r. A tandem jump from 4000m is also possible. For more details see www.dzborki.ru (in Russian) or call (903) 286-3368 (general queries).