An online skydiving logbook

August 27, 2007

Flying blind (sunday)

No jumping for me today, well... OK I have a few hours to spare in the afternoon, so I'm off to the DZ, just one little jump (or maybe two?). When I arrive, I see the older man that I made a few jumps with some weeks ago. He has been waiting all day to make a jump, but first weather conditions were no good for students, and then all instructors were busy doing tandems for the group of blind people. Well, I like the guy, and I have no tandem rating, so I can jump with him. I organise a second instructor, and within the hour, we can go up for his level 3.

Normally, given the choice I prefer being the primary instructor, it's only on a level 3 that I prefer secondary, because then I can go in front of the student (if all goes well of course), make eye contact and witness the moment they realise nobody is holding them... From exhilaration to panic, I've seen it all :-)

Exit is a bit sporty, but we recover quickly. I signal for legs out first, than arch, his body position is good, I release, Erik releases too, I move 45°, so i am halfway in front of him, he sees me, he realises he is flying solo, starts smiling, it grows into the biggest grin you can imagine: I witness a moment of pure happiness. When he checks altitude, he makes a quarter turn, Erik stops him, the dive is almost over, I have to be back in position, he forgets to signal, but pulls at the exact altitude. He has quiet a lot of static line jumps, so canopy and landing are no problem. First thing when he comes down, he tells his wife all about it for something like 45 minutes (yes, I checked), then he buys me a beer, and says (he 's a truck driver): "I'm gonna smile behind the wheel all week".

An afternoon well spent.

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