Panama City Beach. 4th of July weekend about 16 years ago and we had the DZ spending the weekend on the beach and a few travelers too. We had hired a Caravan for the weekend and my buddy and I had our "traveling tandem business" and doing Tandems on the beach. at the end of the day on saturday we went up to do a 12 way. Everyone on this jump was every weekend current, jumped together for around 15 years and no one had less than 400 jumps. we were about 500 yards off the beach on the perfect spot. Exit went fine. We were a little late putting the first point together then broke for the second point and completed that. I saw a guy all the way across the formation turn and and track.
Im thinking "oh ok! Break off" as I slide out and turn I look at my altimeter and see us going through 2500 feet!! I was facing out to sea during the whole dive so depth perception was non-existent. The horizon and ocean just blended together as it was a cloudy misty day.
I turned and tracked like hell and as soon as I turned Condominiums were so big I shit my pants! I could see peoples faces on the patio by the pool looking up at us! I dumped in a full tilt track at 1600' and had my hands by my handles at line stretch. Now I had packed my gear for a video jump and was getting ready to chop it when it opened. I was open 1200 feet. There were 3 people below me and we had 3 land in the water. all high experianced jumpers half of us AFF instructors. We almost killed 12 people in front of family, friends, and wuffos because of losing track of time and altitude.
The only thing that saved anyone was Big Al decided to wear his frappe hat because it was chilly. And it had his dytter in it set for 2500 feet. we quit jumping and bagged it for the day with 4 hours of daylight left. I have a good habit of glancing at my altimeter but also others in the formation as the dive progresses.
No one panicked and started pitching in place but we were dumping with some of us within 20' of each other. Anyone that says "Oh thats pretty effin stupid that wouldnt happen to me" Trust me it can. 12 highly experianced skydivers will agree how stupid it is. and they will tell "Yes it can happen to you in the blink of an eye!!! I still get chills when I think about it.
(This post was edited by Sped on Oct 11, 2012, 11:47 AM)
I did a hop and pop from about 2k because of low cloud cover the pilot said we could jump or land with him. I had a PC in tow down to about 1200 ft, didn't want to dump the reserve for fear of a wrap, but was ready to, with my hand on the RC. Finally came out, I decided no more hop & pops from that low.
Just the other week. Got my A license, and my friends wanted me to do my first licensed jump with them even though it had gotten cloudy. There was a ceiling at what we thought was 4000. We decided we'd just go do a hop and pop, when we got up the celing was at around 3000, so we jumped out at 2800 on my first licensed jump. I remember looking out of the plane and being like.... I basically see squirrels and s**t on the ground. Just sucked it up and jumped got stable immediately and pulled with no issues. Granted many people have done lower jumps than that, but still being new it was quite the rush!
AFF level 1. I can't possibly describe how much I was sweating...literally. Until my feet were back on the ground, I'm sure I stopped blinking once we boarded the plane. On the way up I was so terrified I simply could not comprehend how I came to the decision to try the AFF course. On a positive note, I'm now very happy I jumped....I'm quite addicted and now very poor.
About 90th jump and visiting ZHills for first time. On landing, just as I’m starting my flare, I feel a “pop” with my left toggle and think the line had broken. I immediately put my right hand back and just as I’m trying to grab rear risers go for a “rolling” landing.
After landing I see that the brake line didn’t break, it had come untied from the toggle. I go to the rigger who shows me the right toggle wasn’t tied much better and I had been damn lucky over the prior 60 jumps (bought new rig at 30 jumps). She said the last person who had encountered the same ending with a broken back.
Lesson: have a second rigger inspect new gear if it has been assembled by someone else.
I called the shop where I purchased it (company in Northeast) and they noted the person who assembled my rig had subsequently been fired.
In retrospect, being with about 10 friends in freefall trying to complete a night formation somewhere around 3000' or a little below (pre-audible days). At the time, I wasn't scared until it was time to track and dump, and I jumped a fast-opening canopy. I have no memory of where I opened, but I'm sure it wasn't above 2000'.
At the time, thinking I was going to land in a stock pond when I had about 20 jumps. Of course I wasn't particularly close, but I sure was scared at the time.
My scariest jump started out to be a normal one, practicing freeflying and we broke off at 4500, I was right over a cummulious cloud and decided it would be cool to track right next to it... Oh it really was cool having it whip past me, I misjudged how low the base was and ended up pulling at about 1100 ft. , the ground rush was so fucking scary, and by the time my chute stoped sniveling, I was at about 550 ft. needless to say, our S&TA threatened to ground me if I ever did it again and I beat the lowest pull record at our dz for that year! The scariest part was when I almost got grounded
Poor weather forecast for a night jump! Around my 60th jump, recent B licensed, I was invited to my first night jump. I was jumping 190 canopies but on that night I decided to go with an old Raider 220, just because I've seen more experienced jumpers have very bad landings on night jumps before. During the climb inside that 182 with my newbies best buddies I was very, very nervous and one of my friends said: "why am I doing this again?" So I got a bit better knowing I wasn't the only one scared up there. The instructor gave us a great spot and we got out at 7000ft. That small freefall was a blast. The city looked amazing and dark sky was incredible. It paid out! I deployed at 4000. Then...
winds had picked up a lot and that huge 220 (my wingload was 0.9 on a 190) had literally stopped in the air. I was right on top of the DZ, but at 2000ft winds got really strong and I started to fly backwards, and fast! I was about to get out of the DZ (with a runway of 4000ft) when I grabbed the front risers and started to pitch down the canopy, alternating right and left inputs in order to "cut" the wind and get to the ground ASAP. I manage to land just inside the airfield and the canopy dragged me on my back for about 20 feet until it got entangled on something.
That was the second and last load at that evening. More experienced jumpers came to congratulate me for my attitude in preventing an off site landing. For those who didn't do a night jump yet, DO IT. It's incredibly amazing, just check the details of the forecast in advance and get a very experienced instructor.