An online skydiving logbook

June 29, 2008

some shit, some fun, some beers

The day starts with low clouds. Some people could argue that they are too low, but enough people are willing to try their luck, so the first load goes up. I am not on it. The cloud deck is under 2000 ft. To clear some trees, Polleke lands with the wind, on a rough far-end of the DZ. He only just started jumping again after he had both his hips replaced. And he is under his mini-Katana. And he is unlucky. Shinbone fractures. On both his legs. What a lousy start of the day...

About an hour later, the sky is almost blue, and I go up for my first jump of the day. It's a level 7. The guy is a fireman, a medic too. I like working with people who are trained in handling stress and emergencies. He is rather nervous in the plane, and at 11000 ft, I tell him to bring down his hartbeat in the next few minutes. He looks surpried, then smiles and just does it. And that's the start of a great jump! Congrats on graduation!

Next is a level 4 with a very big guy. Well over 2 meters, over a 100 kilos. Exit is good, but then he doesn't arch, and since he has a lot of surface, our average speed for this jump is a mere 105 mph. He is not unstable, he makes a good jump, but without arching. OK, good enough for me. But over a 100 kilo and only 105 mph: I don't think I know any other skydiver who can do that...

On to the next: a level 3, an older man I jumped with last week (or 2 or 3 weeks ago, I don't remember). He has over a 100 jumps from 20 years ago, most of them static-lines, but over 30 freefall jumps nonetheless. Last time, he held on to his PC, so I brief him again on the difference between ripcord and PC. And this time, I make him actually do it a couple of times. Up we go. His exit is not very good. Rather than taking control of the jump rightaway, he more or less falls out of the plane. His body position is not good. Much worse than the previous jump we did. We manage to release him for something like 20 sec, so it's not that bad, but at 6500 I start signalling him to check altitude, at 5500 I give him a shake, Gert gives the pull signal, but there's nobody home. 4500 Gert pulls for him, and only then, while he is pulled out of my hands, I see him waking up and giving the 55 hand signal. And this for somebody with over a 100 jumps?? During debrief, he tells me that next time, he will put on his reading glasses so that he will be able to actually see his alti. ????? Some people, I really have a hard time believing...

To end the day a level 5 with the big boy again. Look at it. What a great jump!

And as always, a few well deserved beers to round up the day. Get well soon Polleke!

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