I immediately manifested when I arrived at the DZ, just made the first lift of the day. Quick briefing while walking up to the plane: a 3-way dive with Chantal, a lovely lady but a bit low on jumpnumbers, and Polleke, an old guy (well, older then I am anyway) with lots of CRW and tandem jumps. This is going to be a slow dive: they are both even skinnier then me. Exit is an open accordeon, with me in the middel floating, the other two diving. Shake, OK and go - oops, Polleke is late, well that gives me a free hand to handle Chantal, so i can stop her from flapping under me and we exit a nice two-way. I see Polleke diving towards us, OK, lets start: open accordeon, with the outside man (woman) flying around the other two, to redock on the other side of the accordeon, so the middle man becomes outside man, and so on. Chantal starts of, very slowly, I have to help her with the level, but a clean move. Then its my turn, instead of flying around it, I hop over the others while doing 180°, shit, I hop 20 cm too far and have to bubble up again, now Polleke, ooh he goes too quick, yeah, past it, ok let's close the gap, Chantal again, because it took her so long the first time, I now turn the 2-way piece 90° towards her, I can see in her face that she didn't notice that, and she is very pleased that she so quick :-)) now my turn again, ok I hop right in my slot this time, love the move, I see Polleke looking at me, he 's also gonna try to hop over it instead of flying around, he wobbles his ass around, nothing happens, he looks at me with sad eyes, shakes no and has to fly around it biepbiepbiep Check the others while tracking, ok I 'm in the clear, love those soft on heading openings. Whooohaaa, the weekend has started!
An online skydiving logbook
February 26, 2007
February 5, 2007
That level 4 was more then good enough, we can almost immediately follow on with his level 7.
Solo dive-exit. I position myself behind him, so he has the complete void to himself. There we go, well done, he just goes a quarter turn off heading, but no falling over, well controlled! Then a salto, 360 left, 360 right, track while counting to five, hey, he 's tracking a circle, yeah, he has his legs together, and his arms are flapping all over the place, he 's going steeper, this is almost head down, watch it, he falls over, very quick recovery, good, we 're only at 9000 ft and the dive is done. I give him a big thumbs-up, he does three more saltos, at 6000 ft, he gives me a thumbs-up, lock-on and pull a second below 5kft.
Hmmm, if all students were like this, even my mother in law could be an instructor. And the drop was ok this time, Yippie, i love my front risers!
Can't continue the 4-way, 2 students of mine have arrived, 2 brothers. I hand one over to koen, I don't feel like working too much today :-) OK, the guy is at level 7, but his previous jump was some 6 weeks ago. I 'm really not good at that kind of rules, so I have to ask another instructor what the book says about this: first a level 4 apparently. Since I did most of the guy's previous jumps, lets make it a level four-and-a-halve. Ground stuff is smooth, some extra stuff about landing out, cause that pilot keeps throwing people out all over the place. I 'm gonna take my mobile.
"Check-out", instead of the usual ok-nod, I give him a very loud YIIHAAAH-nod, I see a big grin appearing, out, in, out, I release him almost immediately, he struggles a few seconds, alticheck, turn left, alticheck, flying forward, alticheck, what's he doing now, he stops arching, and his arms are almost like in mantis??? he turns on his upper body, quick, too quick, he is gonna fall over, no, he 's keeping it together, ok, he 's arching again, he has completely forgotten about his legs now, serious backslide, but this is 5000ft, wave-off, pull, nice and clean. An OK dive.
He just makes it back, I land out.
We had to wait for the fog to clear, so we all had too much coffee and gossip, but at last, sun 's coming out, so lets go. We are exiting a ritz, but we are diving it out, instead of our usual version of this exit.
Shake, OK, off we go, not a good idea, trying it this way, we lost jean. While we wait for him to take back his position, Sus relaeses grips, what's he doing now, oh yeah, it's his first jump in this new jumpsuit, so he is using this pauze to try it out. Jean 's back and off we go. Move towards icepick is good. We (the sidebody piece) are done early, we can meet them earlier next time around. Some randoms, OK, here 's that move again, good, timing was much better now, but the front piece didn't expect us this early in there move, so they just quack into us. Then some confusion over a sidebody-donut. Sus continuing, me waiting for the sidebody, third ritz-icepick move, beatiful, I love it when a plan comes together.
We start our fourth block move at 4.1 kft, no way we will finish this, so I just start the turn, and throw away my piece partner halfway through it, and track off. He goes almost 360 before he can stop himself. But where the fuck am I?
My first jump here, was 18 years ago, I saw the DZ at exit, but I can't find it now ??? I check the other canpies, waaw, that **** of a pilot must have taken a reverse axis with rather high upper winds to leave us here. I check my mental picture of climbing out, we were third group, and indeed he was flying north instead of south, should have realised it then instead of now. The car ride back to the DZ is exactely 7.4 km! All 17 jumpers landed out.
Our little group broke up, so I decide to do a solo tracking jump. My friend Luc is going for his tandem rating, and he is on the same load as me, with his first human passenger (maybe "human" is overdoing it a but: the guy's nickname is rambo...). They both look nervous, but Luc has over 3000 jumps, so he should be able to pull this one off.
It 's one of my favourit exits, just stepping out of the plane, into a track alongside it. Then 90° left, towards te village, that's my axis. I go on my back, yeah, nice and flat, love the speed, barrelroll, shit, lost way too much speed in that move, happens quite often, and I don't know what I 'm doing wrong: if I concentrate, I 'm ok, if I just barrelroll without thinking, I loose all the speed. Bellytrack again, so I can check my neptune. 7.5, and I am already past the village, so time to turn around, or I will be landing out.
So back towards jumprun, picking up speed again, I see canopies, I see people falling, that will be the tandem, I see someone pull, opening, it 's not the tandem, but he is higher then I am, fuck, what 's my altitude, 6000 ft, I' m OK, oh I remember now, there was a photographer on the load, who was going to open higher, so he could fly by the tandem, and make some shots. Wave off, pull, opening is smooth, on heading, I love my canopy.
The same seven people from the previous jump, plus Walter, who arrived late. Briefing is more ambitious now (we are not a team, we are just a bunch of jumpers who happened to be there): standard exit, start off with a compass, easy transition to a frisbee, then snowflake/in-out and a big star to cool down.
As we launch, I am coming from the inside again, I feel that the guy behind me is late: I pull him out instead of him coming with us. I can hold it, but next to me, it opens up. We also go off heading more then 45°, so it takes us almost 1000 ft to make the first compass, but shit, we 're only seven, where is eight? Koen sees me looking, and points down, ooh Walter is deep, too deep to wait, so 7-way it is.
We 're lucky, he was on the outside (wing on the frisbee, cat on the snowflake), so there needn't be too much improvisation. But our fallrate is now ridicilously slow: I am 1.85 m for only 64 kilos, so no problem here, but there 's people struggling all around me, not a good dive.
Back on the ground, I go to the other skinny guy of our group, we high-five, "I can go slower then this" "Yeeah".
We have briefed a 7-way, an easy one. Just after take-off, koen says "shit, I forgot my helmet", then "does someone has spare goggles ?" and then "my altimeter and my gloves were in my helmet" and "this is going to be a fun dive".
It is about -15° at 13 kft, linked exit, with koen floating, his ears must be freezing off. Shake, OK, there we go, I 'm coming from the inside, practikally no tension, a very smooth exit, I check koen and he has his eyes firmly closed. First time round is a bit slow, 2 guys on the outside are having fallrate problems. Koen can make all his moves in place, and we only have to help him a little: maybe he's crazy, but he 's good...
We briefed 4 points, and only after the fourth time round, my ditter beeps, not too bad. I give koen 2 taps on the head, to let him know we are off, and I track away. Between my legs, I see him waiting three seconds, and then pull in place, like we last-minute-decided in the plane.