Oct 31, 2005, 9:12 AM
Post #1 of 8
The tale of my 1st chop... (long)
This may or may not turn out to be a rambling tale... However, I think setting the scene carries some weight... Night jumps were scheduled at my DZ for last Saturday. Seeing as my S.O. knows Saturdays are my jump days I see the chance to really get some serious jumping in. hehehehe In any case the day was pretty eventful an 11 way tracking dive, not my first but the biggest I have been on to date. A 7 way RW jump. Not necessarily big by most standards but at my DZ I dont get the chance to RW with that many people that often. So I was amped to be able to go. In any case the day went well. The problems started when I rushed to make the sunset load... Yup gotta get greedy and get the extra alti they sometimes give on the sunset load. I don't pack for myself, so I landed ran in the packing loft and asked one of the packers if they could get me on the load. I feel a certain amount of guilt. They work hard enough and shouldn't get rushed like that. I kind of kid myself that a big tip at the end of the day alleviates the guilt when I run in and plead to get a quick pack. Maybe it does, and maybe it doesnt... Moot point in light of the events. Ok where was I??? Oh... Quick gear check and run for the plane... Uneventful skydive, actually my buddy didnt make the load so I went solo. I am the only belly flier on the load so I get the spot. Erffff I got out a little early. A little boo boo that would prove to be a benefactor a few moments later. I Just goofed off during the skydive (I still get a kick out of flips and barrel rolls for no reason other then they are just FUN). So I note that I am a little short of the DZ, clear my airspace and dump at 3.5k instead of 3k. The instant I tossed the pilot chute I Knew things were going in the crapper in a hurry. I fly a Safire2 189 loaded at 1.24 (Yes I know I am a fat ass and to stop increasing my wing loading by shoving food in my face ) but hey its cheaper than down sizing!!! I only have about 120 jumps on it I know the snatch force dont feel like it does right now. Ok put on your slow motion cam boys and girls... Hmmmmmm whats this??? RUH ROH... Why is my head pinned to my chest??? I figure aight massive line twists... Nice body position ya twit!!! insert annoyed grumble here. I get a peek up the best I can. Ummmmmmm do line twists make your canopy look like a big bow tie??? Lil man in my head says "no that my friend is a line over". The powers that be decide a little more mayhem might be in order. On my back and spinning I go. Fair enough.. Its time to say buh bye to the ball of sh*t above my head. Hands go to thier respective pillows. Peel and pull.. See ya main... I had heard tales that people beat thier RSL's. Even with the two handed EP's I didnt... I felt the lil jolt through the cable as the RSL extracted the reserve closing pin. It didn't beat me by much but I knew as I got the reserve handle out it had. Myth busted!!! Under a nice big reserve I popped my face shield PUT the cables from BOTH my handles tween my teeth and headed for the DZ to a nice landing and some cheers from my DZ family. I have NEVER felt so alive in my life!!! I know what you are asking yourself...(or not) What about the night jumps??? Well I did one of those too. Albeit on rental gear. But I got it done... In the end I had to force payment on the packer. They refused and protested but the bottom line is I am bigger then they are!!! hehehe You pay your five bucks, you jump the canopy. The malfuction packing induced or not doesnt negate someone put it in the bag for you. I bought beers, and enjoyed sitting around the fire with the people that have become my extended family.
A big bunch of thanks to Andy for giving me a loaner rig on the house to make a night jump on...
Another shout out to Chris for the save your bottle is on the way...
To all my instructors who got me where I am in skydiving today.... THANKS!!!!
Thanks to the packers at the DZ who put up with me always begging for a quick turn around, always get me on the load and smile while doing it!!!
I editied to add lessons learned... I am such a bonehead!!!
1. Rushing is bad... 2. Rushing is bad... 3. Rushing is bad... 4. Dont mess with it. If it looks like a ball of sh*t it probably is. I was under a good canopy well above my hard deck. 5. I will continue to make a mock run through my EP's the last thing I do b4 I exit or climb out. I always have, and seeing as my hands went right to both of thier respective handles. No reason to mess with what works. But put it in your routine somewhere... 6. Know your spot. even though being short caused me to pull a little higher and thus provided me a little more time. An off landing in my neck of the woods would piss all over a nice parade...
(This post was edited by AdrenalineBluez on Oct 31, 2005, 9:30 AM)
Oct 31, 2005, 12:25 PM
Post #4 of 8
Re: [AdrenalineBluez] The tale of my 1st chop... (long)
[In reply to]
In reply to:
What about the night jumps??? Well I did one of those too. Albeit on rental gear. But I got it done...
I don't think that a night jump is a good time to be using rental gear. In the dark, you really need to have something you're very familiar with, so you know whether things are correct or not just by feel, even if you can't see it. And also to have a canopy flare to which you are accustomed. It might have been best to postpone the night jump until your next opportunity with your own rig.
(This post was edited by JohnRich on Oct 31, 2005, 12:26 PM)
Oct 31, 2005, 1:10 PM
Post #5 of 8
Re: [JohnRich] The tale of my 1st chop... (long)
[In reply to]
I spent some time considering just what to do. In retrospect I have to agree it should have been postponed. In my head I wanted to get back on the horse so to speak. At the time that was important to me. I put some thought in to it and upsized to a 209Sq Ft rental rig I had jumped in the past that was the same type container as I currently jump. The only mechanism that was different is both my emergency handles are pillows. Where the rig I used had a D-ring.