An online skydiving logbook

May 31, 2008

F***ing close

Started the day with 3 FF jumps. I am starting to make those jumps with other people now: 2-ways and 3-ways. And well, is it just me being complacent after so many years of belly flying, or is FF really lots more difficult?

Next was a refresh-level-4 jump. The guy started skydiving in 2005. He totals some 20 jumps now. Only 2 of those were in 2007. Plus he had some blabla about making more jumps and not filling in his logbook. I stopped believing stories like that some time ago.

But (dangerous as this attitude may be) that's not why I want to talk about this jump. There were a lot of newbies and solo jumpers on this load. For the exit, there was a solo jumper (the big guy in a black suit, right at the start of the video), than 3 other solo jumpers, and than it was our turn. You don't see the actual exit of the guy in black, but it is at least 25 seconds before we exit. And yet. After my student pulled, I made a backloop to video his opening, and next thing I see is this guy, under his canopy, straight underneath me. I ducked, tracked, and fell past him at (I think) between 10 end 20 meters distance. I was under canopy at 2000 ft.

He funneled his exit, then tried to sitfly but kept falling over on his back. About 9000 ft, he had enough of it, and went for a good 4000 ft of tracking. All of this straight up jumprun ...

Next a jump with a recently graduated student. I gave his FJC but didn't do the jumps with him. He weighs some 35 kilos more than me and Werner, his instructor, told me he really burns a hole in the sky. A linked exit (his first, beer!). 360° left, 360° right, backslide 2 meter, stop and redock on me. And than a little fallrate exercise. When I started to accelerate, first there was surprise on his face, and then he started to arch some more, and some more, and then finally he started catching me. When I slowed down, he was lost... We averaged 129 mph, and had a fun jump!

To end the day, two level 1 jumps. The first one, a friendly girl, I wanted to turn her into the sun, but the other instructor was determined to keep her on heading. He won (the video lost). Jump went fine. Second one was a guy, talking too much, but hey, nerves can do things to a person, you know. He went through all the mechanics of the dive, but without really knowing what he was doing. I stopped him from pulling at 7500 ft, he made the movement at 5500, but I had to make the actual pull.

7 jumps, lots of fun, one big scare: that calls for a couple of beers!

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