An online skydiving logbook

June 21, 2008


So after a few weekends of bad weather and other activities, students are queueing up. I am spotted while walking from the parking lot to the hangar, Sus waves at me, I give a nod, and I am on the next load. Fitting is now. A level 3, one of the guys from my FJC a couple of weeks ago. It is his fourth attempt at level 3. Exit is not too bad, he doesn't arch, his knees and elbows are are lower than his pelvis. Stable for a few seconds, than a 180° sweep, looking like he is going to fall on his back any moment. Altitude awareness and pull are OK. One of those more difficult decisions. Maybe he'll do a good level 4, maybe it will be a disaster. So since maybe is not good enough, we decide to make him jump another level 3. Sorry for him, but when in doubt, you just have to go for the safest option.

Next is another level 3. A tall guy that looks like he will go fast. And he does! 129 mph average. I am wearing my weight belt, so he makes a good jump, and I enjoy a comfortable one. He always comes to the DZ with his kid (some 10 years old). On the one hand, it is great to see a kid so obsessed by our sport (and by his dad of course), on the other hand, I really wouldn't know what to do with him if his father had an accident...

OK, stop musing, level 3 again with the guy from the first jump. Although he saw himself on video from the previous jump, his body psition is still not good. So I fly behind him, and I give him a good knock on both his knees. The penny drops, and he pushes his knees up, and floeps, the arch is there. I checked it and before my little knock, our average speed was 107 mph, after it was 127 mph: a 20 mph knock-knock: not bad! (You should have seen Sus' face: first a big question mark, "what is he going to do?" and then the ooh shit, when the student accelerated away :-)

Next is a level 6. Another guy from my FJC. I did jump 1 with him, but none of the other levels. He is very nervous in the plane. On exit, he doesn't make a count, can't be out of the plane too fast. And once in the air, it all comes together, and he makes a great jump.

Then there is a level 1. I talk to the man, and he tells me he has over a 100 jumps, the last one was some 20 years ago. He looks a bit timid, he could have negociated a few currency jumps, rather than the full AFF course, but hey, lets just make this jump, and we 'll see about the rest later. I talk him through the differences between then and now, ripcord versus pilot cute, flying characteristics of nowadays canopies, ... His jump is great. A perfect level 1. Until... At pulltime, he looks completely aware of what he is doing, very controlled, good body position, but he holds on to the PC. He doesn't throw it away. And I specifically talked to him about it. Fuck, I should have made him actually do it, instead of mere talking! I hit him on the hand hard, and in a reflex, he lets go. Sus gives me a thumbs up befoe we track away.

Next one is a level 2. It as around 7 pm by now, and when I want to start briefing him, the guy tells me how pleased he is that he can make another jump today. His buddies already went home, and he was planning to leave too, just finishing his beer... Whooo, stop here, "you just had a beer?" Ok, that's it. I 'm having a beer too. We'll jump tomorrow :-)

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