An online skydiving logbook

September 14, 2008


First jump of the day is a solo sitfly, and guess what: the exit works! Facing the prop, leaning backwards. If I don't react to the wind and don't try to stay stable in my sit, if I just don't do a thing, if I just sit, it works! That's what a few thousand belly jumps mis-teach you :-)).

It is going to be a slow day: our national cartographer service (the guys who make Belgium's official maps) are doing some aerial photographing today, and for us this means a 30 minute holding every few hours. And once the rhythm of a dropzone is broken, the day stops flowing and everything starts to slow down.

Second jump is with an ex student. It's his 13th jump (no, it ain't Friday), his first 2-way since AFF. We exit a star (he floats), good exit, I present grips in a few positions, he takes them easily. He makes a few turns, OK, even a back-in and a 540°, and I have seen far worse than his. Turn, track, hey, he doesn't wave off, he just pulls. Very good jump. Well, the freefall part at least. Unfortunately, on landing, he stumbles over his lines and breaks his little finger. Well, how's that for a skydiving accident! You know what they say: if it can't kill you, it's not an extreme sport :-)

Next jump, the roles are reversed. A 2-way sit with an ex-student of mine. He is a good free flyer now, and returning the favour, the jumps I did with him a few years ago. It's great fun beginning to be able to control high-speed flying. Because that's how I think about it in my head (where else would I be thinking anyway): belly-to-earth = low speed, sit and stand = high speed.

There's only time left for one more jump. I exit last (apart from a few wing suiters) and pull a little higher. I love floating up there, and I land well after the birds.

The season is ending. It's too cold to have our beers on the terrace, we have to go inside. The determined and focused students who really planned for skydiving tend to come earlier in the year, now nearing the end of the season, I don' know how to put it, they still enjoy it terribly, but they are more like, it's one of the many things they do, not the one and only thing they ever dreamed about. It's a difference in motivation, it's another kind of students, and it shows. Of course there are exceptions, and maybe AFF fatigue starts to creep in with us instructors too, just maybe, just a tiny little bit. Next year I wanna progress further in freefly, do a bit of 8-way and a bit of 16-way, and who knows what else. But would you listen to me, the year isn't over yet: I want at least 10 jumps next weekend. And another beer right now!

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