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Safety Check for November 2005 by Jim Crouch (Director of Safety and Training)

 


AFFI  (D 25538)

Dec 23, 2005, 8:27 AM
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Practice Makes Perfect

Perfect Practice helps make for a perfect performance. This is true of most things in life, and even more so for skydiving. Think about your last trip to the drop zone and all of the dirt diving you did before each jump. Before boarding the aircraft, skydivers often dance around each other, taking grips in all sorts of odd configurations. The serious folks get on creepers and whiz around on a concrete pad with impressive speed and precision. Practice on freefall skills had become so valuable that it is not supporting the construction and operation of several multi-million-dollar wind tunnels around the country.

Ask those same skydivers who spend countless hours dirt diving and thousands of dollars on tunnel time how long it has been since they used a training harness for practice of emergency procedures. Most of the time, you will be looking at blank stares. The fact is that we could all use a bit more time preparing for the unexpected. Skydiving and complacency are a bad combination.

The time to analyze what to do with a pilot chute in tow is now, not while you are humming through 2,000 feet with a deflated pilot chute whipping uselessly behind you. The same goes for a horseshoe malfunction, two canopies out in various configurations, canopy wraps and entanglements. (You know the difference between the two, right?) Think about those situations now in the comfort of your favorite chair, then head to the drop zone and practice in a training harness the procedures you will use. Its even better if you use malfunction photos. Skydivers Information Manual Sections 4, 5 and 6, along with an instructor, can provide you with help and guidance.

Most importantly, decide now how you will react, and practice those procedures perfectly while on the ground. This is one case where perfect practice could literally save your life.

Jim Crouch


(This post was edited by AFFI on Dec 23, 2005, 8:28 AM)



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