On Earth, we always have the force of gravity acting on us. When we're above the Earth’s surface we have potential energy. This is called gravitational potential energy.The amount of GPE an object has depends on its mass and its height above the Earth's surface.
Hi my name is Eric and I weigh 60 kg, we are now 2000m above ground. The GPE right now is 1,200,000 N/kg.
As the skydiver falls, the GPE would change into kinetic energy
I've reached my terminal speed, I'm going to open the parachute now!!
When the parachute opens it has a large surface area which increases the air resistance. This unbalances the forces and causes the parachutist to slow down.
Landed!! That was so fun!! The GPE right now is 0