Sep 11, 2004, 7:48 PM
Post #1 of 5
1st Reserve Ride
Well, I had my first cutaway today. On my 50th jump. What a way to celebrate...
I pulled just above 3500, open by 3000 or so, but in a turn. The turn wasn't fast by any means, but I started yanking on toggles and risers to make it fly straight, and that failed after a few times, I tried to make it fly straight for a while using riser and/or toggle input. I could, but then I couldn't flare reliably, so only having 50 jumps, I didn't trust myself to flare safely. At 2000 ft I decided not to risk landing it, cut away, and deployed my reserve.
Thinking back, I probably could have landed it without a whole lot of trouble, but then again, maybe not. Judgement call I guess.
Thanks to everyone at the drop zone for walking through lots of corn to find my reserve bag. I have lots of beer and a bottle of Captain to buy!
The lines going up to the left stabilizer didn't look "right" to me, but otherwise the canopy looked alright. I'll see if I can figure it out when I go back and take a look, or talk to my rigger. It was my pack job, so if I do figure out what wasn't right, it'll be a lesson learned I guess. I didn't have time to check it out since I spent so much time try to find my reserve bag.
I can't remember exactly how far I had to bring the toggle down to make it fly straight, but it was far enough where I didn't successfully do practice flares that I felt comfortable with by 2000 ft. I thought about trying a few more, but like you said, I was at my decision altitude for having a canopy I felt like I could land safetly, and with my low number of jumps, I didn't feel like finding out. My main is a Falcon 215 (close to 1:1). No RSL, so I made damn sure I had both handles before I chopped.
It is funny how the more I think about it, the more I doubt whether I should have cut away. But then again, I'd rather sit here unhurt doubting my decision and feeling a little silly, than sitting here with a broken leg wishing I had cut away. Live and learn I guess.
Oh yeah, excellent spot ANDY!!!!! my main landed right on the DZ landing area. I must say that was pretty sweet.
(This post was edited by bacillus on Sep 12, 2004, 1:51 AM)