I take each jump one at a time, learn something and have a great time!

Hop and Pop!

On Sunday, June 24th, I arrived at The Farm and made my rounds. There is always something new happening there. It seemed a bit busy, more tandems than I expected. But it is good to see some new people try out the sport and they were all smiling while they watched their videos.

Jump #17:

My first up was 14,000 feet AGL where I climbed out and did a practice touch to my main canopy deployment PVC handle. I did a solo belly to earth, a few forward and backward flips, then some turns. Passed through part of a hazy cloud.

Waved and opened at 5,000. I performed my canopy checks, checked altimeter and began clearing the pattern to initiate a turn. I remember thinking…it is so beautiful up here. This sport is so much fun. Tally on the other parachutes above and below me. My position was a little off, so I headed back a bit before messing around with my tight canopy turns. Last thing I wanted was to not be able to get back to my pattern. I turned the canopy into different directions to get a better feel where the wind was really pushing from. Pulled on the front risers…a bit more violent than rear riser pulls, noticed the sharp dive.

Entered my pattern around 1000 feet. I looked for one of the circles to my left, I wanted to get as close as I could to it. That meant I needed to continue my downward leg a bit more. I performed a left turn at 500, another left around 250. I felt the wind in front of me slowing me down as I descended to the ground. I passed over and to the right of Justin (Tandem Guy), and I called out to him. Then I flared and touched down in the circle. Yes! I almost did a stand up. I bent my leg and sat on my foot (in a squat), then I pushed myself back up while the canopy was settling down.

Ground time:

I repacked my chute. I’m getting the feel of this. Damn…this is so much fun! I finish up and Hans tells me winds are a bit out of sorts, I always follow his advice. I was on the ground for what seemed like two hours. I was wondering what I was going to do. Next time I need to bring my laptop so I can work when this happens. It was all good, the wind did pick up a bit and was variable. Finally the wind calmed down, so Hans asked if I wanted to go. I jumped at the chance.

Jump #18:

We arrived at the plane, it had to be refueled. We stood around talking and figuring out the exit order sequence. That was when someone from another skydiving operation came over and were commenting that they were grounded. It seemed we may be grounded now as well. The clouds were adding up overhead, but sitting at the airport, we didn’t know how the sky over our DZ was. Our pilot and Hans were talking how the weather was looking overhead. Then, we were a go. The plane climbed and five of us did hop-n-pops (5000 AGL). I stood outside, and let myself fall off the side of the plane. Remembered to ARCH, counted to five and verified visually I was clear…then I pulled open my main deployment handle. I felt no pressure to rush. I just enjoyed a quick hop and started to open smoothly.

Once under a good canopy, I performed a few 360’s to lose altitude more quickly. I was having fun at the same time. I came around and did my left handed pattern, landing near the other hop-n-pops.

The day was done, I had completed a few things, and got them signed off my card. I am going to practice exiting the aircraft head and shoulders forward diving out and forward next time I go up. That seemed to work well with everyone else who did their hop-n-pop. I’ll practice it up around 14k feet, so if I tumble I have time to recover. I’d like to do more hop-n-pops, for practice. I honestly would rather get the free fall, but practice at all things is a good move. Once on the ground, I was asked how I liked it. Honestly, it didn’t scare me or bother me at all. It was a different rush, and it was a different feeling with the canopy opening more slowly since I hadn’t began falling that fast yet.

Till next time…


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