An online skydiving logbook

July 16, 2007

Another saturday: I love being an AFF instructor

Saturday, it 's going to be a busy day: almost half of the instructors are doing the mission impossible in brienne, so...

Starting with the guy from last weeks video. He looked at his video every day of the week, and he practised arching, and it pays off: he makes a good jump. first seconds, he is struggling, but then he realises he 's gonna be OK, and a big smile breaks. I love to watch that moment in a student. He has to land out, but handles it very well.

Then last weeks 120 bpm girl is back: she liked her first jump so much she is back for a full course. I team up with Gert again. Uneventful jump (for us at least), but she hurts her ankle on landing: she approaches in half brakes, and lets herself be pushed away by the wind and she lands cross. Nothing too bad though.

The next one is another level 2. Very nervous, but a good jump, apart from the one most important detail. At 5500 ft, he signals, and then the lights go out: he just stares at his altimeter, no reaction to signal, so I have to pull for him. I see him waking up and going for his PC on line stretch.

OK, level 5 with the same guy from this morning. he is starting to have some serious fun up there. It is a pleasure to jump with a student like him, who struggled for a few jumps, but overcame his difficulties, and is flying through the rest of his course now.

Next I team up with "Wacko" Werner. The student is a man in his sixties, who did about ten static jumps in another club last year. This year he wanted to try AFF, but after a few jumps, there were no more instructors willing to jump with him (at least that's his story). So a quick phonecall with the chief instructor from the previous club. I don't brief him much, only ten minutes or so, but I listen to him telling the story of his life for much longer than that. It loosens him up, and he is a good storyteller, so... He makes an OK jump, and is completely thrilled. He is in tears of happiness when he thanks us.

And on to level 6 (which is my favourite level) with my favourite student of the day. Skydiving is such great fun. I still have to do one jump, but he promises he 'll be waiting for me when I come down WITH A COOL BEER!

Last jump of the day is level 3 with the 120 bpm girl again. I team up with Door: I do the serious part of the brief, he throws in the jokes, but she seems tired from the long wait, she 's not completely concentrated, and it shows. I am secondary, so I can release her, but Door has to keep her from falling over. I move in front of her to make eye contact and to give clearer handsignals, she reacts, takes on a much better body position, but two seconds after Door lets go too, we must retake grips 'cause all that good body position is already gone. She is altitude aware, pulls, and lands without hurting herself this time.

Yep, he is indeed waiting for me with a beer, he 'll make a good skydiver :-)

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