An online skydiving logbook

June 22, 2009

Back to skydiving

When I arrive at the DZ, I am immediately introduced to a rather long and skinny student for a level 2. "He's a slow faller." I could have guessed that one :-). I team up with Philip for the day.

Exit is OK, but following that, there's nobody home. Knees lower than pelvis, heels on his bottom, no reaction to signs or anything. After about 20 sec, we manage to wake him up. He starts his practice pulls, better body position now, he checks altitude and pulls. At 7000 feet. ??? Under canopy, he doesn't react to the radio. We go to plan B, but he doesn't react to the T either. He lands cross-wind, flares late, doesn't hurt himself. On debrief, I mention the word 'awareness'.

Let's try again. Again a good exit. We agreed that it is up to him to take the dive into his own hands. So we wait. It takes him about 15 sec, but there he comes. We can almost see him wake up. Arch, pressure on his legs, GASP, practice pulls. He's there now. Philip releases, but he stiffens up, starts turning. I don't think he notices, he doesn't try to correct. He pulls at the correct altitude this time :-). Again under canopy, he doesn't listen to any instructions, but he flies and lands OK.

A quick level 1 in between. English speaking guy with an Eastern-European accent. Very heads up, nice jump! But than... My canopy just doesn't want to open. I have to work for almost 1500 ft to bring it from a streamer to an open canopy. Pffff.... Lucky this was an AFF jump and I pulled at 4000. Otherwise that would have been a reserve ride. And it isn't over yet. On landing, I fuck up. I don't know what happened, what I did wrong, but a fraction before I am down, I realize that it is not going to work. I make quite a bit of dust and a really very good PLF. I don't hurt myself one little bit (I am not talking about ego here:-)). Reflexes and technique are still OK. But WTF happened?

Third jump of the day with our student. A real level 3 this time. And it's a good one. He starts of by forgetting a practice pull, but after that, he's fine. He is working, trying, his legs are flapping, he can't stop turning, but hey, that's what student jumps are for, no? Under canopy, he comes downwind too early and too far. But he realizes just in time what's going on, turns into the wind, and stays like that for the rest of his descent. He clears the buildings by almost 100 meters. To reassert myself, I go for a precision landing. I miss the target by less than 50 cm :-)

Finally another level 1 to end the day. On exit, I am floating. Check-in, check-out, out, in, OUT, ooh shit, what's this???? Halfway through our salto, he starts arching, and what a difference that makes!!! We finish our flip and we're in business again. First thing we do, Philip and I both look at each other over his back: his smile is at least as big as mine. Very good and uneventful jump from there on.

The airfield closes at 8 pm, and sunset is only at 10 pm. So next are 2 hours of beer and sunshine. Hmmmm...


Anonymous said...

Welcome back ! Al wat gewoon aan de "belgische cultuur"?
Ik, een whuffo, zou het je zeker niet moeten zeggen, maar ik doe het toch: stay safe up there en bij het landen. Blij dat je ok bent.
De "Back to Skydiving" was mooi om te lezen (en ik beleef het in mijn hoofd allemaal mee natuurlijk), gestopt na level 3, tja... maar het laat mij nooit meer los, dat weet ik.
Keep up the good work.


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Surge said...

Love your blog!

skydive from space said...

When I close my eyes and think of skydiving, I want imagine the rush myself, but its hard not to give credit to Joseph Kittinger's Record-Breaking Skydive From Space. The man was a legend.

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FreeFaller said...

Nice Blog! Thanks for Sharing. I really enjoy sky diving. Only been once but can't wait to go again!

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Booker DeWitt said...

Is there an instructor that can help me with skydiving in Toronto, I finally have the courage to go, and it's always something I have wanted to do.

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Tandem Skydive / Tandem Parachute Jump said...

Great Blog! Keep up the good work, Best regards, Chris,