An online skydiving logbook

September 11, 2007

Even more AFF (but with a little funjumping in between)

When I arrive on Sunday morning, weather is overcast, so it is funjump time. We start of with a 4-way that I first did more than 10 years ago, and have done many times since. It goes like star - transition - zipper - transition - opal - transition - bipole - transition - donut - full break - star, and so on. There is always one piece moving and one piece staying in place, and you switch piece partners at every move. All moves are short, so you can really go fast! One of those no-jumping-because-of-the-weather weekends during autumn, I'll post a drawing of it. I guess that will make more sense than this explanation. But for now, believe me that it really is a very fun dive!

By then, sun comes peeping through, so student activities can start. Gert and I take on a girl for her level 2. She is very focused, too focused, but not on the right things: she completely forgets altitude, doesn't react to the signs, and at 5500 ft, instead of pulling, she starts another exercise (flying forwards). Gert pulls for her. When she's under canopy, I use an arrow to steer her, she follows instructions, but when I put her in final, somewhere between 200 and 300 feet, she veers of to her left a bit, and instead of a little flat correction, she throws in a 360°, I already start cursing, but she has enough time to finish the turn and lands cleanly in the right direction. During debrief, she doesn't mention this manoeuvre, and she looks very surprised when I bring it up: she says she doesn't know that she did this. ??? Next couple of jumps are back on the radio for her.

Next is my favourite old man for another attempt on level 4. He exits OK, I have to signal him for legs out and loosen up shoulders, and then I can move in front of him, he flies solo for about 20 seconds, there is that incredible grin again, but when he checks his alti, he turns a little bit, overreacts, and there he goes. I grab him almost immediately, but we still turn 720° together, before I manage to completely stop him.

We talked about the number of jumps it would take him to go through AFF beforehand, so he knows that he has to concentrate on overall progression, rather then on levels and the number of jumps it takes him. And after all, he flew solo and stable for half the jump :-))

I had to leave early, so that's it for Sunday. And since I had family business to attend to for the rest of the day, I couldn't even have a beer before I leave the DZ, life is unfair.

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