An online skydiving logbook

December 30, 2007

Last jumps of 2007

1FS, a 5-way, and 2 attempts at sitfly today.

Sometimes I wonder if I really want to start freeflying, or if it is just a mid-life crisis thing... The average freeflyer at our DZ must be some 15 or 20 years younger than most belly-flyers. Some of them could be my kids!

No, seriously, it is fun being a novice again, it is fun learning a few new tricks. In FS, there are moves I could do better, quicker, more precise, and all that, but there is very little I can't do at all. The stuff I worry about are mainly details. While in FF, it's the very basics I'm trying to learn, and there's at least 99% I can't do at all. It's the difference between cursing myself because a move was a few inches short, and worrying that I'll backslide so much that I'll come too close to the previous group. And I guess that's what makes it so much fun, but also a tiny little bit frustrating.

Almost 250 jumps this year. 93 AFF's. 0 reserve rides. Lots of fun, not too much shit. I didn't count the beers. All in all, it has been a good year for me :-))

Happy 2008: blue skies, safe jumps!

December 16, 2007

Brrrrrrrrr...... (very cold weather)

... but a clear blue sky. Too good to resist (I didn't even try :-). Temperature is around 0°, not counting the cold, northern wind. Temperature at 13.000 ft is something like -20°. In conditions like this, I always prefer diving, rather than floating.

Four jumps today, all belly-to-earth, jumping with everybody who wants to join. Only rule is as soon as we are 8 or more, we split the group. So two jumps are 5-ways, the other two 7-ways. At the end of the day, I have earned 8 free beers: 1 per brainlock (and that's only counting the very obvious ones, not the glitches). Over the years, I learned to cover up my own locks :-)

This is one of the 7-ways we did, a real nice one. No need to think, just swing it around! (this jump made us three beers). For exit, we launched the center spider as a linked 5-way, plus a front floater and a back diver.

Split off the 3-ways and turn them 180°, the outfacing jumper has the nice job! The center also does a 180°.

Next is a very short move to an open accordeon, center does a 180° again.

Direction of the turn is to give the jumpers who must pick up the grip the best visual. And for the center, how about another 180°?

The two switchers cancel each other out, so we can go back to 1.
The faster you can go, the nicer the jump!

December 8, 2007


The weather was supposed to be awful this WE, but come Saturday morning, and guess what: it just looks jumpable. So, a quick reschedule of some planned activities, and I'm of to the DZ. We have to wait a bit, before there are enough people to fill the plane, but after a few coffees, we are 10 and we can go.

During take-off, I sit next to the pilot, so I have a front row seat on what follows. Immediately after we are committed to take-off, out of nowhere appear a couple of hundred birds. We go through the middle of the flock. A loud BANG, so there's at least one dead bird. And then we're through. This took not even 5 seconds, but hey, no thanks, not for me any more please! Jump is a lousy try at sitflying. Not more then 10 or 15 seconds of controlled, stable flight. And for the remainder, well I can go headdown in what I thought was a sit-position, and I can definitely start a turn. So, next time, I can concentrate on stopping one :-)

There's just the time for a second jump. Clouds and bad weather are closing in fast. I go tracking on my back, trying to make big curves and barrelrolls without loosing speed. Around 8k, I enter a haze, can't use the sun any more to keep track of where I'm going, so I do a stand-up for the next couple thousand feet. I exited last, so I open a little high, around 4 k. I immediately notice that the wind has picked up a great deal. I turn against it before doing my slider and all the other stuff, and I am blown backwards. It takes a good deal of (frontriser) work, but I manage to land exactly where I want to: a dry patch (our DZ tends to be rather wet and muddy this time of the year), not too far away from the hangar, but well clear of it's turbulence. From the 12 jumpers in the plane, we are only six to land on the DZ. The other six land out. Among those who land in are the first group to exit, and me (the last one to exit). All those who landed out have less than 500 jumps, all those who landed in have over 2000. There's no such thing as a coincidence.

But there is beer, although it is not even three o'clock. It's gonna be a long afternoon :-)