An online skydiving logbook

April 19, 2008

I can't help it

Although the weather was not very good, it looked like it might be jumpable, so I went to the DZ anyway. And yes yes yes, we were lucky: the sun made it through. Just.

First is a level 4 with Wesley. But by the time we go up, the weather is already changing. There is a very high layer of clouds, so above us, everything is white. And there is a haze below us, so we can see the ground straight beneath us, but around us, again only white. What this means is that the student has very little visual clues, orientation in freefall is difficult. Too difficult apparently. I release him three times, and three times I have to stop him turning. Nothing violent or so, but just a steady turn he can't stop. His circuit flying and landing are very good!

By now, the weather is really turning bad, but I want to do one more jump anyway (you know the feeling, I bet). We enter the by now thick haze at about 3000ft. At 11000ft I hear someone in the plane saying that he is going to pull a little higher "to be on the safe side". I suggest that he can refuse the jump, but all he says is "Naaahhh...". At 13000 ft, still only white around us...

Did you ever exit with your eyes shut? I 've done it a few times, and it is really fun. Feel your exit :-). Even though I do not really look around me on a normal exit, it is amazing how much input you lack with your eyes closed... This is similar: just a whole lot of white around me. After a few seconds the plane is gone too. I manage a good sit exit, and a stable position all through the jump, without visual clues from horizon, ground or sky. There are no real clouds, it isn't wet. There's just 10000ft of thick haze and humidity.

I go belly-to-earth on 4000, planning for pull at 3000, and guess what, at 3200 the ground appears. I really liked this jump. It was a long time since I have been so totally alone. And as much as I love to be alone, I also like some good company at the bar...

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