What’s the difference between a skydive and a parachute jump?

The terms skydive, parachute jump and just ‘jump’ are often used interchangeably with each other although there are some subtle differences between some of the terms.

Skydives are by definition parachute jumps, that is because at the end of each skydive a parachute is used to land back on earth. However, where someone leaves an aircraft and immediately deploys their parachute without any freefall, it’s debatable whether that is technically a skydive but it’s definately a parachute jump.

In any case, there is no need to get strung up over terminology everyone at a dropzone (what skydivers call a skydiving centre) will understand what you mean if you use either term.

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