Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Failed (I mean, I get to repeat) Level 4 (Long)

 


airricks  (D 32014)

Aug 2, 2005, 7:57 AM
Post #1 of 7 (2087 views)
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Failed (I mean, I get to repeat) Level 4 (Long) Can't Post

Ive put links to my level 3 and level 4 if anyone wants to see them...

My level 3
http://www.skydivingmovies.com/...ion=file&id=2418
My level 4
http://www.skydivingmovies.com/...ion=file&id=2487

Ive read the DZ forums almost daily since I started jumping last September, I just havent posted much. I did levels 1 and 2 of AFF last September then quit for the season for financial and weather reasons. I did level 2 over again last april to get current, but waited too long to jump again. Earlier this month I did another level 2 to get current again, then level 3 the next day so I actually progressed a level!

I passed level 3 but I didnt feel too stable once I was released. If I didnt have an instructor on both sides to "bump" into, I probably wouldve been turning, but my instructors said I had good heading and altitude awareness, I was just a little "potato chippy".

Anyway I did level 4 last Saturday, and was pretty nervous about the jump. For one, I only had one instructor and no outside cameraman so it was just the two of us. Plus I knew I would be released soon into the dive again. I was supposed to do a COA, a PHT, then the JM would come to the front and we would nod and I would do a 90 left, a 90 right, then hover until 6000. Hanging outside the plane by myself without a RS instructor was very strange! Everything went good until the release, I looked left and lowered my left arm, but turned right! I shouldve done more to correct the turn, but my mind got caught up in the fact I was turing the wrong way and before I knew it the JM stopped me after doing a 360. I got legs out and got rereleased and since I was close to 6000 I was going to try and just hover. Instead I started turning to the right again. This bothered me and I decided to just pull at that point. I was surprised at how still I stayed during deployment until watching the video and noticed my instructor had ahold of my left leg to stop me! TongueThere were 2 AFF groups that exited after me that landed first since I pulled so high. Anyway, I have to repeat level 4, which will be my 7th jump, I am going to try and do it Thursday.

If you pause my level 4 video about 180 degrees into the 1st turn, my right knee is a LOT lower than my left, could this be causing the turn? I thought a lowered right knee would cause a left turn though. My arm are bent at the elbow a lot wider than 90 degrees too which I was told to try and bring them back in. My instructors biggest advice was just to relax, which obviously Im going to listen to my instructors above all, but I was just trying to get some more opinions and advice.

Skydiving in general is a strange thing for me. What I mean is that I would have never expected myself to be able to do something like this. Ive never really been into sports too much. I can remember when my uncle wanted to take me up in his cessna when I was 10 or so and I cried and cried and they had to drag me on the plane, although it was fun once I was flying. Now Ive jumped out of a plane 6 times! Each time I get ready to go skydiving, starting with the drive to the DZ I get very nervous. I keep thinking, why am I doing this to myself? Ill jump one more time then Im never coming back... On my level 4, I was SO nervous going to altitude. I tried to remind myself Id already done this 5 times, but it didnt help too much. I kept looking at the empty space near the tail and thinking, Ill just sit there and let everyone else jump and I'll ride down. I have to make myself jump, but once I let go of the plane its just the opposite. Its so incredible and I then remember why I do this. Cool I love freefall and challenging myself to do something so exciting. I love the canopy ride and the great views and planning my landing pattern. Ive read a lot of posts here so I know its common (I think its called door fear) but its still there. I think if I could relax more before the jump, I could be more relaxed in freefall and the jump would go better overall.

I know this post is rambling more than anything but I think about skydiving so much anymore I figure who better to vent to....my friends get tired of hearing about skydiving. Anyway Im glad to be a part of such a great sport.


Jeth  (C 37471)

Aug 2, 2005, 11:31 AM
Post #2 of 7 (2020 views)
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Re: [airricks] Failed (I mean, I get to repeat) Level 4 (Long) [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Dude,

Your instructors are right, you just need to relax. Students always over-analyze everything in their jumps (I did the same thing). Your turn probably is caused by you dropping your knee. But you will become a lot more stable when you relax. And I mean really RELAX. I thought I was relaxed, but I was still tense (as evidenced by my clenched fists). When I did finally relax for real, I improved 100%.

Of course you're going to be nervous, you're jumping out of a plane! It does get better. It really helps to do it more frequently, too. My best time as a student was when I came and did 5 jumps in one day. For me, there was nothing anyone could say to make me not nervous. It just got better with time and more jumps. I still get nervous sometimes, but no longer have that paralyzing fear. Thats great that you feel its all worth it once you get out the door. It was the same for me, thats what kept me coming back. Cool

On the ride to altitude try taking some big, deep breaths. Go over the dive plan in your head. Imagine it going perfectly. Picture yourself out there in freefall loving it. Oh, it also helps to relax if you smile. Seriously. Take a deep breath, exhale, and then plant a huge smile across your face. Thats how I relax up there.

Good luck with your training. Try not to over-analyze and stress about it too much. RELAX and enjoy!! Smile


JohnRich  (D License)

Aug 2, 2005, 12:14 PM
Post #3 of 7 (2003 views)
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Re: [airricks] Failed Level 4 [In reply to] Can't Post

Ohhh, it's politically incorrect to say "failed" these days. It might hurt your self-esteem!

Just call it "deferred success". <grin>


Orange1  (B 2638)

Aug 2, 2005, 1:26 PM
Post #4 of 7 (1980 views)
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Re: [airricks] Failed (I mean, I get to repeat) Level 4 (Long) [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Ill jump one more time then Im never coming back

That's pretty much how I got myself through progression too! Laugh


Feeblemind  (D 28621)

Aug 2, 2005, 3:04 PM
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Re: [Orange1] Failed (I mean, I get to repeat) Level 4 (Long) [In reply to] Can't Post

Dude,

It's not a failure, but rather an additional opportunity to go skydive again to improve your basic skills. I also had to repeat 2 AFF jumps and as mentioned above I was not relaxed.

Did your AFF-I video your jump? I am sure your received a debriefing on the jump, but the videos my AFF-I took during my training made it much easier for me to identify and corect my errors.

Good Luck,
Phil


Rettrae  (Student)

Aug 2, 2005, 3:40 PM
Post #6 of 7 (1950 views)
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Re: [airricks] Failed (I mean, I get to repeat) Level 4 (Long) [In reply to] Can't Post

I understand the problem with "door fear". I would feel just fine until they opened the door and everyone went out. To deal with this, I would just look away and just busy myself with shuffling forward and protect my gear. Once I got to the door, I had something to do, therefore I was able to focus on the task at hand, get in position, and jump. Now on jump #9, I am able to watch everyone else exit without any problem. The more you do it, the easier it gets, go more often if you can. R


airricks  (D 32014)

Aug 2, 2005, 7:36 PM
Post #7 of 7 (1932 views)
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Re: [airricks] Failed (I mean, I get to repeat) Level 4 (Long) [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey thanks for all the great replies guys!

Quote:
Of course you're going to be nervous, you're jumping out of a plane! It does get better. It really helps to do it more frequently, too

I am trying to get to the DZ more frequently. Money is an issue and so is Ohio weather but Im trying to go every week. Im definitely the least apprehensive about skydiving right after Ive jumped, so thats probably the best time to do another jump! I shouldve tried level 4 again the same day and I probably wouldve passed. Im going to try again thursday assuming weather cooperates.

Quote:
For me, there was nothing anyone could say to make me not nervous

Thats how it is for me too. Every instructor Ive had tells me to just relax, take a deep breath when that door comes open, but it seems like trying to be less nervous ends up making me more nervous. The only good thing about my instructors constantly telling me to relax is realizing that they see how nervous I am but still feel it's natural and are willing to jump with me. One instructor told me she was going to give me a "complementary" relax signal in freefall whether I looked relaxed or not. Wink

Quote:
Ohhh, it's politically incorrect to say "failed" these days. It might hurt your self-esteem
Quote:
It's not a failure, but rather an additional opportunity to go skydive again to improve your basic skills

Thats why I said I mean I get to repeat in the subject because I knew I would be told it wasnt a failure. I totally agree, and I dont feel like I failed. I jumped out of a plane 3 miles above the ground and stepped gracefully back onto the ground, so in my mind I passed. It is a goal of mine to get my A, but honestly whether im doing 90 degree turns or backflips or Im on level 4 or 14, Im still skydiving and I love it so thats all that matters.

Quote:
Did your AFF-I video your jump?

Yep the link at the top of my post is the video from the jump. From level 3 on at my DZ they video all your jumps. Ive watched it in slow motion lots of times to try and see what I did wrong, but also Im trying not to over-analyze and just relax.

Quote:
I would feel just fine until they opened the door and everyone went out

Thats how I am, when I see that door open and hear the wind and the engine cutting back and see the experienced jumpers just diving out my stomach turns. I know that once Im out of the plane Im fine so I just try and concentrate on what I have to do to get out of the plane one step at a time, then worry about the rest when Im out there.

Anyway, thanks for all the replies guys! Its great to talk to people who understand what I actually am experiencing. I can talk to my nonjumping friends all day and theyd never really understand what its like to have the door of a plane open at 14000 feet and know youre going out Cool



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