Jul 1, 2001, 2:33 PM
Post #1 of 12
I did it
Okay, I didn't really want to post this for all to see, but...
I am really new to this. I have had two tandem jumps and had started S/L (yeah, I know). I had one "good" jump. Okay on the exit (a little freaky standing outside the plane) and arch. A few line twists but kicked out of them and actually landed (on my butt but on target). On another jump, I was to do a PRCP. Instead, I grabbed and partially pulled the the red breakaway, only halfway! When I looked up , saw the mess I had created, and realized what had happened, I finished pulling the red and pulled the silver, got under a good canopy and flew home. I was a little freaked out but not totally. I felt I knew what to do. Decided to go up again, try this one more time that day. Did another PRCP without any trouble. On the way up I rehearsed over and over, deep breaths, was feeling pretty good.
Now it is the next day and I am REALLY freaking out. I've had more time to think about it and now I am getting scared. I'm pretty sure I won't repeat the same thing. :)That's one way of teaching me, but a little too dangerous. My instructors told me it happens sometimes, but still. Now I even wonder if I should go back. I absolutely love it, and am scared most of the time, but that hasn't stopped me yet. This really scared me. And I did it myself. Just had to talk and get it out. I know I don't post often (actually twice) but read this routinely. I just wanted some feedback. Thanks
Julie, After making a mistake, it sounds like you fixed things perfectly and kept your wits about you. That is the most important thing!!! You can bet that you won't make that mistake again!! It sounds like you did the right thing by getting back up there and doing a ton of practice touchs. We all know what it is to make mistakes- I had a tough time learning to read my altimeter without turning like crazy. I still don't always land on me feet. That is part of what keeps me coming back. I love it and there is always something for me to improve on!
I had a cutaway on my 1st jump off of student status (jump #8). It felt wonderful to know that I had my emergency procedures down pat - as do you now! But I had some butterflies after going home and thinking about it. It's easy to get all caught up in what could have happened and the scary part of it. But just think of all the wonderful things about skydiving instead - the awesome comraderie of your fellow skydivers, the feel of 120 mph winds on your face and body, breathing in the fresh air at altitude, flying your body around the great wide open... those things are so much more powerful that what could have been, and what fortunately wasn't! Just watch some skydiving videos or go online and look at skydiving pics -- all the grinning freefallers will get you back in the groove in no time. The statistics are in your favor now - you've already had your malfunction! So buck up and have some fun!
Hey- I had to do 2 extra PRCP's and an extra 5 second delay earlier in my static line progression. I had a LOT of trouble keeping a stable arch. Even deployed on my back on a hop & pop. The next weekend, while I was driving to the DZ, I started thinking about all the trouble I was having, and thinking, "Am I really cut out for this?" and wondering just like it sounds you are, if I should turn around. Then I thought, NO, if I quit now, I'll be pissed off at myself for a long time. I made a conscious decision to learn from every mistake I made. My first jump that day was my second 10-second delay; I did a complete barrel roll on my first one. I went up for the second one with no thoughts of screwing up, only picturing myself doing the whole sequence right. I got out, let go, arched, relaxed, watched the plane go up all the way until I had a canopy over my head. It was the best feeling in the world. That one beautiful skydive gave me so much confidence, I have no longer had any thoughts of giving up at all, because I know I CAN learn from my mistakes, as long as I keep going up and getting out.
The point I'm eventually going to make here is, don't give up! I had similar thoughts after I made mistakes, but I worked through it, and I know you can too. I'm very glad that I didn't quit. Even better, you recognized what happened when you pulled the wrong handle, and immediately did the right thing to fix it. If I had had a mal that early on, I would have pissed my jumpsuit. Well, if I *ever* have a mal, I'll probably piss. But regardless of my hypothetical urinary problems, you handled the situation, which is great!
Don't stress it Julie! You made a mistake, then dealt with the result correctly. No problem. Good job!
I watched one of my students do the exact same thing once. He didn't remember to pull silver, but the RSL did it for him. Quite an interesting sight from the airplane! But his error didn't stop him from finishing his student jumps and getting his A license (marraige killed his jumping career a couple years later...).
As for the fear, I could have easily ridden the plane down any of my first 50 jumps. It does get a bit less with each jump you do. You can make it lessen even faster by learning as much as you can about skydiving - gear, safety, emergency procedures, etc. - in between your jumps.
pull and flare, lisa ---- I don't think much, therefore I might not be
You have shown to yourself that you can handle the situation. I really understand how you feel - and all I can offer is attack the fear, and conquer it, however you can (I literally pretend I am not afraid - which mostly works for me); talk to your instructors, talk to them about how you feel. You are not the first person to have a mistake in training, and that is what they're there for - to teach you. Never be embarrassed for making a mistake, be proud that you had the presence of mind to deal with it successfully.
Thank you SO much for your replies. I really needed that. I watched some video, looked at some photos, did some reading and can't wait to get back. I know what I did wrong, and yes I now know I can pull the right handles. I'm so grateful I found this group. No one around me understands this need to jump. As most of us have experienced, most everyone you know thinks you are a bloomin' idiot. I had almost convinced myself of the same thing. But I guess I'll just have to be a bloomin' idiot in the sky! :)
Julie welcome to the club. We have all had some problems that we would rather have missed. I had the pilot chute wrap around my had on my first hand deploy even after I had practiced it 50 times. I have spaced and gone a little low. The thing that makes it O.K. is that you didn't freek and that you learn from what you did wrong. If you can do just that then you have had a valuable learning experience not a tragic mistake. The door demons are hard just don't let them win.
Good recovery after your mess-up. Don't even sweat it. Like everyone else has already stated, it is definitely better to get that first reserve ride out of the way. The most important thing you can do prior to PRCP's and then your first FF is "jumping jacks" with your pelvis against a wall or tree. Putting your hands in the right place over and over again will make the pull sequence second nature to you. Hopefully, your DZ has the PRCP in the same location as the actual ripcord.