An online skydiving logbook

July 9, 2007

Saturday: busy with AFF

When I arrived at the DZ, it was chaos: a few instructors didn't turn up, students queuing all over the place. Well, not really my problem, I am just going to have fun today.

First jump is a level 5. When we are on the plane, the student asks me, if I know a trick to handle his surplus of nerves and energy. Of course I do! I tell him to just leave the plane shouting. On exit, I am floating, and well, he really is giving a performance: I hear him loud and clearly. The 6 tandem passengers in the plane won't know what hit them! Very smooth jump, great student.

Then I team up with Ronny for a couple of lower level jumps. First a level 2 with a guy I had in ground class a few weeks before. When I ask him why he wants to become a skydiver, he starts on a story about wanting more out of his weekends, rather than just partying and booze. Hehehe, if he stays around a bit, we will show him how to combine his old and his new interests. Good altitude awareness, clean pull, but lousy body position: hope I can do a few more levels with him, will be interesting.

OK, on to a level 3. I am secondary, never saw the bloke before we get on the plane. Great exit, he's good, so I release almost immediately, while we 're still on the hill. A few more seconds, primary also releases. I go in front of him, give him a big smile and a thumbs up. The grin on his face makes my day.

A level 2 student is next. I have to admit that I don't remember much about him (well, nothing would be even more accurate), and about the only thing I remember from the jump, is my what-the-fuck-is-this feeling, when he decides to improvise an extra practice pull at 8.5k, and I have to be quick to make sure he doesn't actually pull that high.

Then a jump I'll remember for some time. If there existed an award for "lousiest body position of the year", ladies and gentlemen, we do have a serious contender here... Girl, very scared, done two tandem jumps earlier this year. Very nervous, then sensory overload creeping in, and even before she's out of the plane, out goes the light. She more or less falls out, and there sure is nobody home for the next minute or so. With my left hand I hold a harness grip, and I have my elbow tucked in under her leg to push it up a bit. I try to hold her upper body between my right hand and my head. On the other side, Ronny is doing something similar, and we only just manage to keep it stable. I have 7000 feet to decide how I'll throw her pilot chute without the three of us funneling. I manage, she lands safely, and afterwards, she tells us it was the greatest thing she ever did. :-)

For the last jump of the day, I loose Ronny and I have to team up with Luc. Level 3 with that same guy with whom I did a level 2 earlier. As predicted, it was "interesting": little arch, the knees wide apart and slightly lower then his pelvis, and his hands are lower than his shoulders. It almost looks like a mantis. And of course as flexible and relax as concrete. It takes some moulding and signalling before we can give him the release. As soon as the secondary JM lets go, I can feel where he will go when I release, so I signal Luc into place, I let go, and we give him three seconds of solo flight, straight into Luc's arms. More arch, legs out, heel click, push his arms in position, try again: Luc lets go, feels slightly better then the first try, I let go, one sec, two sec, oh no, he starts rolling, I stabilise him just before he goes belly up. Time's up, he's altitude aware and pulls.


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