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

Stupid Human Tricks?

I went out Saturday afternoon to STF (Skydive The Farm) again to practice with The 4-way team.  Only two of us out of four showed up.  Nice job fuckers!

The good side, two of us were able to practice matching our fall rate, fly our slots and maintain the same elevation while doing 360 degree turns.  Perfect? Naaa…but we are getting a lot more comfortable flying together.

I ended up getting only three on this day, partly because I didn’t arrive until mid-day, and also because I decided to head home instead of spend the night.  I am glad I did, I felt a cold coming on Sunday, which I hopefully slept off.

Jump #50
First jump of the day.  We recruited Arne, another skydiver at The Farm who is at the same experience level, roughly forty some jumps.  It was a decent exit.  I had to do the count, and as I stood in the door way, I felt myself getting pushed backwards.  I ended up doing the count quickly before we all exited.  Arne and I left together, Chris was about a second afterwards.  Chris quickly dove down to meet us and we all began flying slots.

Next Chris and Arne docked.  I flew in close and Chris tried to grab me, but I motioned no.  I wanted to practice flying my slot.  It was a bit more difficult with those two docked.  The air or “bubble” (as some call it), was pushing me back a bit.  This was great practice to me…I even had to add a little left side movement to keep from being pushed back and to the right.  I later wondered if they were moving left…a video would have told us the truth.

We tracked away, opened and landed nicely, considering the wind was a bit tricky.

Jump #51
How can you not love this sport? We did a three way exit and practiced flying our slots.  No one was allowed to dock this time around.  Just fly your slot and do 360’s while keeping your same fall rate.  Not as easy as it sounds…but some great experience was attained by us all.

Uneventful opening with a landing that was not the best.  I landed fine, but not on my feet.  Once I touched down with my feet…the forward speed was too fast, I ended up leaning too far forward and fell down on my knees.  Oh well, nothing hurt, just a bit of pride.  This is the first time I ended landing not on my feet in like twenty some jumps…damn!

Jump #52
Last jump of the day.  This ended up in a two way practice jump with Chris and myself, Arne had to bolt to get home.  Chris and I exited poised at the door.  We ended up flying our slots, no docking, just 360’s.  We did very good.  On one of Chris’ practice turns, I goofed and fell a little low, making him think he shot up.  I had to tell him later.  We both did awesome.

I tracked away, arched and opened my canopy.  Damn…I had line twists.  As soon as I saw them forming I grabbed my risors and held them apart.  My altimeter said 3000 feet now.  I began kicking out to try to untangle the twist.  I wasn’t spinning.  I thought to myself…shit…I may have to cut away.  I was a bit worried because my slider had come more than half way down, and I was hoping it wasn’t causing a knot.  I made an immediate decision and said try again, if I can’t begin getting out of the twists in 500 feet…I’m punching away to my reserve.

Luckily…I kicked real hard…and spun my body, untwisting the lines over my head.  I grabbed my brake lines while inspecting the canopy and everything looked fine.  Two flares…and I felt fine.  Whew…that felt closer than any other opening.

I kind of patted myself on the back.  I made a solid judgment call.  I was altitude aware and made a decision to cut away if I could not achieve my desired results (fixing the twists) within a specified altitude loss.  I checked my altimeter several times but did not fixate on it.  I was fortunate that most of my canopy was open, keeping me from falling too fast.

The lesson:
Now for the reason I ended up with line twists.  Some could say it was my body position before opening, but I don’t think it was.  I remember the pack job just before this jump.  I was hurrying.  And when I stowed my suspension lines, there was no slack while I put the bag into the container.  I had a thought to myself, how safe is this? Will it have an issue coming out? I didn’t think it would, so I left the suspension lines just as I had them.

The problem I speculate occurred, is when the bag was coming out, it caused a spin, resulting in the lines unraveling and twisting.  I was lucky that the spin was not significant and the canopy opened correctly, the slider came more than half way down and I had a little mess to clean up.

Learning experience? Absolutely…keep some slack in the bottom of the container for the bag to exit freely without getting caught on anything.  Otherwise, you may end up bogging a stupid human trick just like I did.

Blue skies…

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One Response to “Stupid Human Tricks?”

  1. oo, scary! maybe I’ve already told you but my first jump I had line twist and for a few seconds I was sure I was gonna die on my very first jump =P
    then it untwisted itself while I was obsessing over it and everything was fine. but to have it happen on the very first jump? I thought that was a bit cruel =P

    and quit complaining about not landing on your feet. I never do!! And the season is pretty much over here =(


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