An online skydiving logbook

October 6, 2007

My favourite playground

After another week of rain and mist, it is again a glorious weekend! Sun, blue skies, hmmm... Gert, another instructor, has talked some people from his work into doing a skydive. We start with his boss. Lots of joking ("if you need a pay rise, this is the moment to ask for it", etc.), they obviously get along very well. His exit and body position are OK, but his practice pulls are way off. Each time, I have to work to bring his hand to the right place, and while doing so, each time the formation turns about 90°. I can see the cameraman having trouble cause he has to film into the sun, so I turn the formation back in the right direction as soon as I can, but hey, first things first. At pull time, he is a little slow in starting the works, and again he can't find the pull. Time's up, so I have to pull for him. Pity, his mind was on the task, but he couldn't get the mechanics right. Under canopy, he completely disregards my steering him, flies a good circuit, and lands beautifully.

Because there is a shortage of cameramen, we have to wait before we can go up with the next guy. I can just sneak in a funjump. I exit first, all the rest of the load are students and tandems. Backtracking, some very slow barrelrolls, head down, it's my favourite playground up there :-) All the others on the load open higher, and are under big canopies, so there is no one around when I come in for landing, and I make it a nice downwinder.

Gert's second colleague is a younger man. He doesn't arch, his legs are completely tucked in, but he enjoys it, and makes a clean pull. Like the first one, under canopy, he disregards my steering instructions, flies a good circuit, and lands beautifully. Maybe I have to check how they were briefed :-)

Next is level 4 again with last weeks' skinny guy. This is his 5th attempt (and we are in the plane with another level 4, who is on his 6th attempt already). He exits OK, As soon as I release him, he starts to slowly turn, he makes a strange move with his hips to try and stop it, almost falls over, and then at once, click, he's got it. He arches and is in full control, gives me a big smile. I give him thumbs up, and the rest of the jump is a piece of cake.

An hour later, we go up again for his level 5. First part of the jump is good, but then he starts pushing out his legs too much. Instead of turning, he is flying forward in big circles. He doesn't see my legs-in signal, so when I move to his side at pull time, I really have to side-slip hard to stay in position. But it is great to watch how he is aware of the air around him, and how he tries to work with it.

Apparently, lots of people had their birthday this week, so I phone home to tell that maybe, just maybe, I might be just a tiny little bit late in coming home this evening.

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