An online skydiving logbook

August 2, 2008

Like a bird

After a few bad weather weekends, and a family holliday (where all things even vaguely connected to skydiving are taboe), at last: jumping again. And nothing planned, not on the roster, no commitments to students, nada! So I just manifest for load 2 (I went for an early morning run: great, but it made me mis the first load), and we end up with 11 bellyfliers on this load. So fate has decided: an 11-way it is.

Quick brief for an easy jump, and off we go. There's one girl going low, but we turn a clean 10 points without her. Nice one to start the day! Problem however is that while being low, she starts tracking away early, a few seconds before we break, but she doesn't track all the way. She just follows her built-in clock and makes a normal-duration-track, and so ends up opening almost 1000 ft too high. Luckily me and the other guy tracking in her sector had our eyes open. It's a mistake I see fairly often: a higher break-off altitude that results in a higher pull altitude, rather than in a longer track And to top it off, she hurts herself on landing. Nothing serious, just "one of those days" for her.

We stay together with more or less the same group for the following jumps. Nr 2 is a more challenging 10-way. Some out-facing positions and stuff like a 10-way donut... It feels really good in the air: smooth flying, smiles all around. Canopy ride gets more tricky: winds are picking up, it starts to get bumpy, but nothing we can't handle. I want more :-)

For jump 3 a few new people join us, and the overall quality of the group is lower than on the previous jumps. I feel a bit pissed because we brief an easy one, and we still manage to fuck it up. But what felt like a lousy dive for me, apparently felt great for some of the others. Excited talk about how we managed to make the second formation, and even nearly completed the third point. I guess I'm spoiled :-)

By the time we go for our fourth jump, the weather is starting to become a problem, but we can't get enough, and if we hurry, we can just beat that fat dark cloud-thing that's closing in... We brief something funky: a long zipper, break it up in 4 pieces, that hop under/over each other to form a new zipper. Nice moves, but after the second hop, there's a collision and we loose a lot of time before everybody is up and running again. But a nice one! I must remember this jump, and try it a few more times.

And that's it for today (it is raining by now).

And if you wonder about the title of this post, it is about a great image I saw today. There was a tandem passenger today at the DZ, a woman with Down syndrome. Sam, who videoed her, showed me his tape. The tandem master did a great job on the briefing and preparation, and then the freefall. After the exit, you see her face opening up in a big smile of pure happiness, and for the next couple of seconds, she flaps her arms, like wings, like a bird. Beautiful, moving... (and it made me thirsty: beer!)


ninanord said...

Another funjump - this girl won a competition on national norwegian radio: The prize was jumping tandem naked landing in the middle of a music festival in the capital =)

James_P said...

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