Cold Winter Skydive
It was 7°F up at 15k feet? That was the first and last report I heard on the way to the plane. Surface temperature around 34°F. Crap!
James mentioned a few days ago that he needed to pick up his new RW suit. So being a good sport, I told him I would head out and jump with him, as no one cares much for jumping solo! Thanks for picking a day that was cold James!
By the time we got to Skydive The Farm, geared up and stepped outside with all those warm layers, it wasn’t too cold. The jumps were actually not that cold. The coldest part was right after I opened the canopy, while inspecting it. I think that is the point the adrenaline rush wears off a lot and signals to your brain like the temperature of your face begin to process. My chin and face was the coldest as I didn’t wear anything to cover them.
James and I decided to 2way our way in the sky. We decided a quick jump out, dock, do a few side swipes, a 360, re-dock then turn and burn, flying straight forward. As he turned away to set up for his track, I settled above him and quickly side slipped to get out of his burble. Just as I did, he shot off like he was fired out of a cannon. I reached back into a track and tried to catch up, but he had a good jump start on me, so I let him fall down further and I turned left to keep clear of him. No other skydivers, wave, arched, pulled.
My landing was good. The canopy was flying great. I flared, but a gust of wind kept me aloft just a tad longer. And just when I thought I would never come down, it dropped me a bit quicker than I wanted. Nothing bad, it all worked fine, but it makes for landing in wind nothing to take for granted! I stood up the landing, nothing hurt, but my left ankle took a bit extra force. Luckily I had a straight angle on it or I would have sprained/twisted it. What would have been the right thing to do? PLF …or be in the PLF position and be ready for me to drop. Damn noob skydivers…
Chad (aka DZChad), James and I decided to climb outside the plane hop off on Chad’s count and trac. Flying forward while keeping a loose formation is a good challenge and a lot of fun. Luckily Chad carries a video and still camera, so there is evidence you can watch here:
I have to get proof every once in a while to prove I am doing some skydiving and not just being a poser! I never claim it to be great skydiving as I am no seasoned pro, but I do remember to pull my main deployment handle each time, which has to mean something!
As you can see in the video, we all had a blast. Everything about this jump was perfect (minus maybe the cold temp.).
A note about my landing. Chad had told us he would be near the windsock while we were on the plane. When I was circling around the dropzone before entering my pattern, I noticed I would have to accomplish a shallow landing just beyond the trees. I timed it right, and you’ll see in the video I pulled it off nicely. Still…had the wind shifted or I caught turbulence, my canopy may have hooked the tree near where I landed. The landing was perfect, it couldn’t have gone better, but something as small as a wind change could have caused me to have a very bad day. I took away a valuable lesson here without getting hurt. Maybe not so close to the trees next time.
The day ended with getting some assistance from Mike Gruwell at ChutingStar Rigging Loft. He replaced a worn slider bumper and let me borrow a can of silicone spray to clean my cut away cables. (those yellow ones that help save your life!) I put the rig back together, and got a second set of eyes on it to make sure things looked good.
For such a cold day…it was a perfect day! I can’t wait until my next trip out to my home dropzone, Skydive The Farm!