Mar 28, 2004, 10:32 AM
Post #1 of 1
German 122 way in Dubai
We have a new German national record, a 122 way. The formation was flown on the 26.03.2004 at Umm al Qaiwain in the United Arab Emirates.
We arrived on the 19th of March at Dubai International Airport. This was my first trip to an Arabic country, and I was sure that this is something different as our bus driver stept into the brakes because of a camel which was not sure if it should pass the road or not.
The hotel was a 10 minutes bus-drive away from the DZ. Later that day, we drove by bus to the DZ and had a look at everything and completed the paperwork (waiver, etc)
The skydives on the next day (20.03) started with 20- 30 ways. My slot was in the 8-way in the center. The plan was to go start slowly and to go up to a 44 way to complete the base a few times times. The whackers did it pretty much the same way. This concept worked excellent, the Daedalus crew ( Dieter Kirsch, Pitt Weber, Christoph Aarns) payed attention to every detail, and were aware that the majority of the participants have not jumped since a few months because of the winter break. It really payed off not to go big too fast.
On the 21.03, we made three nice 44 – ways with our complete base, the whackers were doing well too. Tomorrow was the day for the first 120 way jumps.
22.03.04: It was too windy for a 120 way in the morning . We drove back to the hotel, returned to the DZ in the afternoon and made two jumps without oxygen from 4600 meters. These two jumps worked out pretty well and made everybody optimistic for the next day.
23.03.04: To warm up, the first dive was from 4600 meters, 76 skydivers docked according to the judge. Everything was well structured, no bigger issues. After a very detailed oxygen briefing, including a trial with all participants in the quite hot plane, we made two skydives from 5600 meters. The first one became a 99 way, the second a 111 way. We drove back the hotel with a very good feeling.
24.03.04: First jump in the morning : a 121 way, the formation was flown for 1,3 seconds.
As Dieter Kirsch said that the judge confirmed jump was complete, the noise level in the hangar was extreme. The complete team drove back to the hotel – the party was excessive..
It was around 35° Celsius, so the pool was the place to be. Nearly all participants were in the water, voluntary or not. A few mobile phones didn’t survive the sudden unscheduled swim :-) The party continued until the next morning….
25.03.04: no further record attempt planned this day. The skydiving fraction did 30- 40 ways for entertainment. Some people decided to go to Dubai to see something from the country, me too. We hired a taxi and spend the day in the city. It was quite impressive to see the Burj Al Arab hotel, the different “souks” (trading places) for spices, gold – or faked Rolex or Breitling watches instead.
The skydives went not so well this day, maybe a bigger party tribute than expected…
26.03.04: One more skydive. The record package included 15 skydives from the Antonov 12. 14 have been done before. The team captains discussed lengthy the evening before. The decision was to go for another record attempt, a 122 way. One skydiver skydiver was already on the way home- maybe not the luckiest decision. Two videomen (JoJo Priedemann and Wofgang Müller) were added, and Barbara. She was busy all week with the organisation of all the details – and there were a lot ! After an exceptional briefing, we flew a smooth 122 way for 5 seconds. The 3 “stand- in” skydivers became heroes that day!
Thanks a lot to Daedalus, Pete Marsden,Tallis (DZ manager) and Sheik Mohammed for the excellent organisation of everything. Pete and Tallis did a very good job, there was no issue, everything worked perfect up to the oxygen in the AN 12. The aircraft (Antonov 12) is exceptional. The Russian crew was very experienced, the captain had over 7000 hours on this aircraft.
Some statistics have been made during the attempt:
Participants: Male : 94 Female: 28 = 22,95 %
Age structure: Average age total: 41,59 years Men: 42,23 Women: 39,43
Jump numbers: Total of all participants : 334572 Men : 285149 Women: 49423
Total average : 2742 jumps Average men: 3033 jumps Average women: 1765 jumps
Years in sport:
Total average: 17,30 years
The shortest time in the sport was 6 years, the longest 37 years.