An online skydiving logbook

May 10, 2008

Level 2

Belgium is the warmest place in europe this weekend (at least, that's what belgian television was telling us yesterday evening). Whatever, it's a beautiful day. I have no plans, no appointments, and I'm not on duty. I can do whatever I want. First thing I arrive, Gert asks me if I want to do some AFF. And of course I say yes :-)

A guy doing his second jump. A level 2 but he didn't pull at his first jump (beats me how you can pass a level without pulling). Exit is good. Next there are a few movements that could be understood as a COA. Practice pulls, three times he panicks, three times I have to grab his hand and guide it to the pull. And that's it. We are at 9500 ft, and there's nobody home anymore. I pull for him.

2 no-pulls in a row. No good. For his next try, I simplify the dive. Altitude awareness and pull is what I want. And it is what we get. His body position is awful, we have to work hard, but he stays with us the whole dive, checks altitude at regular intervals, and makes the pull himself. Waahoo, that's progress!

Next I brief him on a level 2. Awareness, body position and a little turning. And this is a very strange jump. Good exit. COA, I signal legs out, he does that. We are at 11000ft. Then there is a gap. 15 blank seconds. At 8500 he wakes up, makes his practice pulls, 6500, lock on, and an OK pull. That would have been a good enough level 2, but a 15 sec blackout halfway through the dive??? On debrief, he recalls the legs-out signal, and he thinks the practice pulls came immediately after that...

Tomorrow morning we'll start with another level 2. That's a first for me (as an instructor): that will make (at least) four tries on level 2. Maybe skydiving is not the right sport for him, or he may also just have a bad day. Whatever, I have the feeling it's gonna be a long road towards AFF graduation.

In between all this, I can squeeze in 2 jumps. A FF jump: sitfly (good exit!), turning on my legs, just having fun in the air. And a tracking jump. An easy one for me: I still wear my AFF suit, with booties. Most of the others wear freefly suits or pants. But there are too much kamikazes in this dive. I back off some 10 or 20 yards and watch a collision and two funnels in the remainder of the dive. Maybe I'm getting old :-)

Today is the first day for our new bar. Beer(s)!

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