An online skydiving logbook

July 13, 2008

A fine day :-)

When I arrive, the DZ is already busy. There is a 16-way training today, and a lot of people who just, after a week of rain, are happy that today, finally, the sun came out again.

Luk gave a FJC yesterday, and asks me if Sus and I can make a jump with a girl from that course. So first load, and there we go. When it is our turn, she hesitates, looks at me, thinking about refusing, but when I give her an encouraging nod, she positions herself in the door. Check in, ckeck out, out, in, out, she doesn't jump but lets herself fall out of the plane, and she goes for the foetus position, wrigling, stamping her feet. We have a full time job keeping it stable. And, amazingly, with her knees almost to her chest and her elbows tucked in, she does as briefed: GASP, practice pulls, GASP... Believe me, not a nice sight: her trying to make a practice pull, not finding it, panicking. And I can't help her, because if I let go of her arm, we will funnel. First time Sus and I can make eye contact is at 7000 ft. A quick nod, and at 6500 I pull for her. Back on the ground, Sus and I do a high-5. Glad we had eachother up there. Under canopy, she follows instructions, and she makes a good landing. She enjoyed it very much, thank you.

Next is a level 7. The guy is not the greatest natural talent I 've ever seen, but he is safe, and he anjoys it tremendously! Congratulations!

Level 6 with big boy is next. This guy is friendly and likable on the ground, and good in the air. A pleasure to teach people like him.

Next is a level 2 with another of those mini-girls I specialise in. She made a good level 1 last week (or was it 2 weeks ago, I don't remember such things, but I do remember that on that jump I had more trouble with the other instructor than with her). She, like most people, is more nervous now than the first time, but she controls it, and makes another good jump. Plus a clean canopy flight and landing.

Ok, graduation jump for big boy next. For his exit, I position him behind the red line, so he runs out and dives. First time in his course that he 's unstable :-). Another very good jump from him. And for the second time today, congratulations!

So, that's it for today. Brussels airport traffic control gives us a one hour holding , and by now I am too thirsty to sit it out. And a graduate, that means beer, 2 graduates means more beer, and it is the first time I complete two students on the same day. Ouch, even more beer...

July 6, 2008

5 jumps

5 jumps today, 4 AFF & and a FF

July 5, 2008

load 1, 3, 5 & 7

So that's 4 jumps before the weather turned bad around 1.30 pm. Not bad :-)

First is a level 4. This guy at first is very nervous, and then he calms down. He becomes very quiet. Seems like he has a full time job containing his fear. But he succeeds in overcoming it and makes the jump

There is always fear in skydiving, but after well over 3000 jumps it has changed a lot for me. It becomes a whole lot less acute, and of course I fear other things than an open door now. It's hard for me to relate to this kind of fear/tension/stress.

Then a level 2. Before the jump, we were joking a bit, but in the end I reassured the guy, that I wouldn't release him. Bit of a pitty really, 'cause he was very good. If we would have released him, he would have stayed right where he was.

Another level 4 with the scared one. He is a little more relaxed (but not that much), and the jump, well euh... A performance like this would probably pass him on level 3, but since this was a level 4, I need to see a bit more control, plus starting/stopping a turn... But, he is altitude aware, doesn't freeze up, tries hard, and lands safely. So even if it won't pass him on his level, it's a good jump, no?

And a quick level 1 next. The man is very focused and really enjoying himself. An almost perfect jump. Under canopy, he doesn't follow the directions we give him, but he does well on his own. He flies something that is recognisable as a pattern, at about 300 ft he is in final. And he makes a good landing. But he has to walk back a few 100 meters more than if he had listened. Well done.

We still board the plane with his friend for his first jump, but John radios the pilot to cancel our jump. The clouds are starting to close in and, more importantly, the wind picks up and becomes very unstable. So it's a plane ride down (long time since I had to do that). But a perfectly good decision from the ground crew. Thx!

And guess what: I feel it's too early yet for beer... Or maybe not... Ok, just a quick one :-)