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Well, I don't fall very well.

 

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PPL

Jun 4, 2012, 8:16 AM
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Well, I don't fall very well. Can't Post

I've wanted to try skydiving more or less forever. For my last birthday, in early May, my girlfriend gave me the money and said "go do it." I decided to say hell with it and used the money for my AFF first jump course and jump. That was three weeks ago.
After class, it was too windy to jump. It remained that way until this last Saturday. No worries, I've been hanging at the DZ every weekend since and met some great people. Anyway, Saturday, the weather was great. I got suited up. We got up. The time came. I moved out onto the step (Cessna 182).
Okay, let me say, in retrospect, I have to admit that I don't care for this part. It's not a fear of heights or anything like that. My dad is a pilot and I've been flying for as long as I can remember. It's just that during the transition from my nice cozy position in the plane, to being out on the step, I don't like it, for whatever reason. Once I'm in position, I'm good.
Okay. "Check in, check out, prop, up, down, arch."
Well, I didn't arch. I've practiced this stuff on the ground until I have it down cold. I can rattle off the entire theoretical sequence of a jump like I'm saying my ABC's. But the first time the wind hit me in the face, all of that went out the window.
So, I didn't arch and instead of falling belly down, I'm tumbling through the sky. Eventually my brain kicked in and I arched, got belly down, and semi-stable. The rest of the jump I felt went pretty well. My altitude checks were good, I got my 3 practice pulls in, I waved off and pulled on my own at the right altitude. Landing pattern went well. I PLF'd and walked away.
Second jump, same day.
I still don't like moving into position. Exit was much better. Something happened after my first altitude check. My contact lenses went more or less opaque and I couldn't see very well. Couldn't really make out my altimeter. Got my two practice pulls, but I think I freaked a bit after that because I don't remember much to be honest. Going to try some different goggles next time.
I do not feel stable in free fall. Remember when they took the training wheels off of your bike the first time? You kind of managed to stay up, but you were wobbly and all over the place and it was more or less organized chaos? That's exactly how I feel in free fall at this point. Anyway, I remember eventually getting the "pull" signal, so I did.
Canopy flight was great. I was in the pattern correctly with no radio feedback. After I turned base I heard "kick your feet if you want to flare on your own." So I kicked my feet. Turned final, flared, stuck and ran out my landing.
So, in summary: I feel like I suck in free fall, and I felt like I moved backward on my second jump. During debriefing, I was assured that this was not the case, and that I'm a bit ahead of the curve. Also, that I'm way, way too negative.
My canopy skills, on the other hand, were praised. They said when they saw me in the pattern the second time, they said "this guy's got it" and that's when they told me to kick my legs. I was later told that for a student (I hesitate to say this because I don't want to sound like an ass, and they probably say it to everyone as a confidence booster) my canopy skills were among the best, if not the best, that had come through the school. And honestly, canopy flight did feel extremely natural for me. I think having a few hours as a private pilot is largely responsible for this.
All in all, it's been a great time. I've met some great people, made some new friends, and had a blast. Can't wait to get back up, but it's going to be two weeks before I can afford my next jump. But I'm definitely eaten up with the skydiving bug. Anyway, hello.


Premier skymama  (D 26699)
Moderator
Jun 4, 2012, 8:18 AM
Post #2 of 30 (1784 views)
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Re: [PPL] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

Welcome to the forums! Smile Do you have access to a wind tunnel nearby? A few minutes in the tunnel has helped many a student learn their arch.


PPL

Jun 4, 2012, 8:21 AM
Post #3 of 30 (1783 views)
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Re: [skymama] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

Not that I'm aware of, but I should definitely look.


Premier skymama  (D 26699)
Moderator
Jun 4, 2012, 8:24 AM
Post #4 of 30 (1781 views)
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Re: [PPL] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

It might seem expensive at first, but it's a lot cheaper than failing a level of your training. And I bet you wouldn't need more than a few minutes to get the hang of it. Hope you find one!


PPL

Jun 4, 2012, 10:33 AM
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Re: [skymama] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll definitely look into it, thanks!


dthames  (B 37674)

Jun 4, 2012, 10:39 AM
Post #6 of 30 (1760 views)
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Re: [PPL] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think if you have a good knowledge of aircraft flight, you are ahead of the class on setting up a pattern and landing. There is still plenty to learn but that basic knowledge delivers a big bonus from the beginning.

Your free fall experience seems pretty typical. First jump you are well prepared for what you know you need to do and totally unprepared for what you don't know about free fall. I think the 2nd and 3rd jumps can be harder and rougher than the first for a lot of people. You are not the first to have this experience.

All aspects get easier as they become more familar.

Welcome to the sky.


PPL

Jun 4, 2012, 11:06 AM
Post #7 of 30 (1748 views)
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Re: [dthames] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think if you have a good knowledge of aircraft flight, you are ahead of the class on setting up a pattern and landing. There is still plenty to learn but that basic knowledge delivers a big bonus from the beginning.

Your free fall experience seems pretty typical. First jump you are well prepared for what you know you need to do and totally unprepared for what you don't know about free fall. I think the 2nd and 3rd jumps can be harder and rougher than the first for a lot of people. You are not the first to have this experience.

All aspects get easier as they become more familar.

Welcome to the sky.

Thanks, and glad to hear it. Nearest tunnel I can find is about 5 hours away.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Jun 4, 2012, 12:20 PM
Post #8 of 30 (1731 views)
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Re: [PPL] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

Trash what Skymama said. Your training jumps are not about passing or failing. It's not a test. It's all about developing some sort of proficiency in a particular skydiving skill and it may take more than one jump to get the hang of it....no big deal.

Your training jumps are designed to progress from the basic skill of stability to more demanding skills such as regaining stability when you lose it.

Just because you may have to repeat a jump doesn't mean you 'failed' the first attempt....it simply means that more practice is needed to show some level of proficiency in that skill.

Sounds to me as though you are right on track with the freefall and ahead of the game on canopy flight.
Congrats!


(This post was edited by popsjumper on Jun 4, 2012, 12:22 PM)


Premier skymama  (D 26699)
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Jun 4, 2012, 6:26 PM
Post #9 of 30 (1698 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Trash what Skymama said.

Well, pfftt on you. Tongue I'm not an instructor, but I have been welcoming and reading the experiences of newbies for just about 10 years now. No one has ever said the tunnel hurt their training, they always found it helpful. If he's more confident with his arch, he might be more confident when he leaves the plane. Of course tunnel time isn't a requirement to have successful skydives, but it's usually helpful. I wish I had more money to be able to go to the tunnel myself!


PPL

Jun 5, 2012, 3:58 AM
Post #10 of 30 (1674 views)
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Re: [skymama] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

Is some soreness normal? I'm sure I was working harder than I had to do to adrenalin, but my legs were killing me yesterday.


Premier skymama  (D 26699)
Moderator
Jun 5, 2012, 4:34 AM
Post #11 of 30 (1670 views)
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Re: [PPL] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh yeah, your muscles are working hard to keep you stable. You might be using some muscles you haven't used in awhile.

P.S.: don't be surprised if you get bruising too. Wink


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Jun 5, 2012, 8:10 AM
Post #12 of 30 (1663 views)
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Re: [skymama] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Trash what Skymama said.

Well, pfftt on you. Tongue I'm not an instructor, but I have been welcoming and reading the experiences of newbies for just about 10 years now. No one has ever said the tunnel hurt their training, they always found it helpful. If he's more confident with his arch, he might be more confident when he leaves the plane. Of course tunnel time isn't a requirement to have successful skydives, but it's usually helpful. I wish I had more money to be able to go to the tunnel myself!

My statement was not about the tunnel training...it was bout your use of "failing". Just that simple.

For the record, and you should already know this:

I support tunnel time as a great training tool.
Tongue back atchya.
Wink


(This post was edited by popsjumper on Jun 5, 2012, 8:13 AM)


mahonie10  (B License)

Jun 7, 2012, 7:55 PM
Post #13 of 30 (1604 views)
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Re: [PPL] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

I can agree with moving to the door, for some reason thats gets my nerves up too, once i'm in position in the door i'm fine. I jump with contacts too, and the only thing i can suggest is "no hole" goggles that are super snug on you face.


PPL

Jun 8, 2012, 3:40 AM
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Re: [mahonie10] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I can agree with moving to the door, for some reason thats gets my nerves up too, once i'm in position in the door i'm fine. I jump with contacts too, and the only thing i can suggest is "no hole" goggles that are super snug on you face.

That's the plan. The ones I was using had holes.


Flyerer  (A License)

Jun 8, 2012, 8:09 AM
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Re: [PPL] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a difficult time translating the arch you practice while in ground-school, and the actual arch you employ in freefall. During ground-school, I found myself arching far too much in my upper back and shoulders. The arch you're looking for in freefall is in your lower back with a more relaxed feeling in your upper torso. With two or three jumps under your belt I think you're being a little tough on yourself. Good luck and blue skies!


thunderkat  (Student)

Jun 14, 2012, 6:20 PM
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Re: [PPL] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm on my 19th jump, which is including two tandems, and CFT, AFF, etc. I still don't fall very well.... I have not had a good exit yet, I almost always end up on my back for at least a second, and even on my belly, I sort of wobble front to back, and tend to spin a little. I'm definitely going to try to get some tunnel time in. I was told that girls are typically good freefall students because many of us have dance/gymnastics experience and therefore greater body awareness, and that guys tend to do better under canopy. Well for some reason the opposite seems to be true for me Mad. Anyway....I just wanted to reply and relate-it's not easy to relax in freefall, and I used to hate moving into position too. Only within my last two jumps did a significant amount of the fear go away. Give it time-go easy on yourself. It's not an easy thing we're trying to learn here.


skyjump11  (D 5595)

Jun 19, 2012, 4:45 PM
Post #17 of 30 (1452 views)
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Re: [PPL] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

May I please make an observation to you?
Everyone at your DZ that is an excellent jumper
and you watch and go 'wow'....well, guess what?
They were all lousy when they first started out
and you never got to see all the 'face plants' into
the ground when they all were learning to land
and the horrible body positions they had when
they were learning to fly.
It takes many jumps to become 'good.'
Please be patient with yourself. It will come for
you as it did to all those 'wow' jumpers.
Be nice to yourself with the knowledge that 'one day'
you will be there too....OK?


PPL

Jun 24, 2012, 1:07 PM
Post #18 of 30 (1414 views)
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Re: [skyjump11] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

After a string of bad luck, I finally got jump 3 off today. Without a hitch.
Nerves climbing out onto the strut were absent today, for whatever reason.
Exit was smooth. Was belly down and stable almost immediately. Did one practice touch and then the instructors let me go. I maintained my stability and heading. Stayed altitude aware. Waved off and pulled at the right height.
Canopy flight, as before, was excellent. There was no radio assistance today and I won't be wearing one anymore. It was windier at ground level today. On final I had very, very little forward movement. Made for an incredibly soft touchdown. My feet and knees loved it, didn't even have to run.
I think the difference maker in free fall was after I got belly down, I made a conscious, deliberate effort to relax. Man, it really does help, doesn't it? i guess that's it. Cleared for category D. Bring it!


grasshoppergirl  (A 255824)

Jun 24, 2012, 1:18 PM
Post #19 of 30 (1409 views)
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Re: [PPL] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

Congrats! Sounds like it was a great day. Smile Beer!


mahonie10  (B License)

Jun 24, 2012, 2:03 PM
Post #20 of 30 (1405 views)
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Re: [PPL] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

now you can build off the confidence of that jump. thats the way it is for me. Be scetched out about something, then rock it and say hell yeah! whats next!


dthames  (B 37674)

Jun 24, 2012, 8:00 PM
Post #21 of 30 (1389 views)
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Re: [PPL] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

Congradulations. Sounds like you are settling in nicely. Keep it up.


gregpso  (Student)

Jun 24, 2012, 8:11 PM
Post #22 of 30 (1387 views)
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Re: [skymama] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Welcome to the forums! Smile Do you have access to a wind tunnel nearby? A few minutes in the tunnel has helped many a student learn their arch.

I have only a few jumps myself but do not be so hard on yourself if it was easy it woukld not be a challenge. Who cares about passing or falling as long as you are having fun and staying safe.

I look forward to reading about your continuing progress Cheers (aussie saying)


BKS60  (C 41583)

Jun 25, 2012, 6:08 PM
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Re: [PPL] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

PPL your original post sounded like I was writing it from my jumps. I don't have any problem with stepping out of the plane (king air) and I seem to handle the canopy ok but my arch SUCKS.
I'm looking into a wind tunnel about 8 hours away but I need it.
J4 ended up with a white canopy over me due to rolling on my side as I pulled.
Oh and J4 is not when you when you are supposed to go on your back but at least I know I can get back belly to earth on my own when I get to that stage!!!!
DAMN


mahonie10  (B License)

Jun 25, 2012, 6:24 PM
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Re: [BKS60] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

One of my instructors told me to improve my arch is, invision yourself "taking a drunken piss" If you think about it's the perfect arch! So for your next off dz training, go out, drink some beers and practice your arch! haha.


PPL

Jun 25, 2012, 6:27 PM
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Re: [mahonie10] Well, I don't fall very well. [In reply to] Can't Post

Ha ha, if I can keep my exit arch where it was the last time I shouldn't have any issues, but if anything happens I'll definitely remember the drunk piss. That makes perfect sense!


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