Forums: Skydiving: General Skydiving Discussions:
How to get over a skydiving accident?

 


jean69004

Jun 19, 2012, 3:18 PM
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How to get over a skydiving accident? Can't Post

Hi everyone!

I wanted to know how I could get over a skydiving accident that happened to me in october...

I was taking PAC courses (quite the same than AFF but in France) and it was only my fourth jump.
Basically, I dislocated my shoulder while falling (video available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neDl901ETUU)...

Luckily, I remained calm and landed ok even if I didn't flare and wanted to faint under canopy.

I had surgery in february and doctors consider my shoulder is now ok.

I really loved the experience and I'm planning to go back jumping in a week or two to finish the courses...the only problem is that I'm terrified and don't know how to deal with the stress just before the jump.

In fact, I don't know how most people feel at the beginning, but even after 4 jumps I was still very scared in front of the door and I know have to deal with the fear of another dislocation...

Any advice would be highly appreciated..

Thank you for reading and sorry for my poor english (I'm french)


pchapman  (D 1014)

Jun 19, 2012, 3:47 PM
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Re: [jean69004] How to get over a skydiving accident? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
and sorry for my poor english (I'm french)

That's funny, your English grammar, vocabulary, and general writing skills are far better than many native English speakers one encounters on the web these days...Crazy

Plenty of skydivers have had to deal with shoulder dislocation injuries in the past, so there are a few threads out there on dz.com about dealing with it. I don't know enough about it, but bad shoulders have caused some experienced jumpers to quit the sport. It seems to be a vulnerable part of the body, especially to some of the motions used in skydiving. So even if your shoulder is fine in the short run, take whatever care is necessary to maintain it in the long run.

You are understandably stressed about being fit enough to skydive safely, while still a novice with limited skills to fall back on.

There are tricks to flaring with one hand (& two toggles) that you can learn as a backup, just in case.

Perhaps spend the money on a tandem jump or two, and make sure the instructor plans to fully involve you (& your arms), in flying the freefall, pulling, steering, and flaring.

That can't take the place of the advice of doctors, but if you want to try to prove to yourself that the shoulder is indeed better, a tandem jump is a safer environment to test that shoulder out.


deltron80  (A License)

Jun 19, 2012, 3:48 PM
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Re: [jean69004] How to get over a skydiving accident? [In reply to] Can't Post

I got hurt during AFF on my 10th jump.. just force your way through the terror. Don't let it stop you.


PiLFy  (A License)

Jun 19, 2012, 4:29 PM
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Re: [jean69004] How to get over a skydiving accident? [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry about your shoulder. Unfortunately, some students don't make it through to a license without injury. My fifth ever jump caused leg & back injuries that gimped me out for almost a year. I was afraid throughout AFF, & beyond. Though, it gradually lessened as I gained knowledge & confidence.

Your shoulder has already been given a clean bill of health. I'd suggest telling your instructors about your fears. Learn more about the equipment before you jump again. Shoulder injuries do happen in this sport. There are ways to limit the risks of that. Talk to your instructors. BTW, nice job on not freaking out when your shoulder came undone. Some students would've lost it & tumbled out of control.

Welcome Back.


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Jun 19, 2012, 6:39 PM
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Re: [jean69004] How to get over a skydiving accident? [In reply to] Can't Post

Correct me if I am wrong but it doesn't sound like your injury was skydiving related. It sounds like you had a preexisting shoulder problem. Or you had a really bad instructor.

As far as the door fear goes, everyone is different. It took me 50 jumps before I was comfortable at the door. I told myself if I wanted to jump I just had to get past it.


councilman24  (D 8631)

Jun 19, 2012, 10:29 PM
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Re: [jean69004] How to get over a skydiving accident? [In reply to] Can't Post

In terms of general fear it took me at least a 100 jumps to not be general fearful heading to the DZ. After the first jump of the weekend I'd remember "oh yea, that's why I do this!"

In terms of the accident. Shoulders can be an issue. Make sure your doctor knows about the skydiving and the pressure that puts on shoulder joints versus other activities. If still given the okay, remember you said it yourself "Luckily, I remained calm and landed ok even if I didn't flare and wanted to faint under canopy. " Skydiving is not without its incidents, malfunctions, and injuries. But you've already shown you could handle this one.Smile

I had a total malfunction of my reserve for 1400' when I had about 90 jumps. I had given up and was waiting to bounce. Opened at 300'. (This was before I was a rigger and much of the reason I became one). It was two weeks before I had my rig back to jump again. I was very afraid of being afraid. But when it came time to jump it was no different that before.

I also had a bad leg injury due to a PC in tow and low opening. I had about 700 jumps then. It was about 8 months before I jumped again and couldn't wait to get back in the air.

If you manage to work through and over come your fear you will have become a skydiver. That is part of the challenge and appeal of the sport.


jean69004

Jun 20, 2012, 3:39 AM
Post #7 of 20 (2452 views)
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Re: [CSpenceFLY] How to get over a skydiving accident? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Correct me if I am wrong but it doesn't sound like your injury was skydiving related. It sounds like you had a preexisting shoulder problem. Or you had a really bad instructor.

I never had any shoulder problems before...the dislocation happened when I tried to get back in belly position for the second time.
I knew instantly that something was wrong. The first reflex was to put my arm close from my chest, but I just thought "hey man, you'll never be stable and this can be dangerous", so I just put it back in a correct position (just imagine how painful moving a dislocated shoulder can be).

It took some time to my instructor to understand something was wrong, because except a little rotation, I seemed pretty ok... he got it when he saw my face and pulled for me...

Although he is a very experienced skydiver (13.000+ jumps, finished 2nd at the world championship a few years ago), he never saw someone dislocating his shoulder in front of himduring a skydive.

Nothing to say except I'm glad he saved me from a potential instable opening....and dealing with twists or even a cutaway with a dislocated shoulder is an experience I don't even want to think about.

Last but not least, he pulled at the last moment and landed as fast as possible to informthe DZ manager.
1mn after my canopy opened, people were already talking to me on the radio and saying "Ok we know something went wrong with your shoulder, just listen to us and everything is gonna be ok".
When I landed, my instructor had already took the car, called 911 and was here to take care of me....he also helped me to get a fast appointment with a doctor specialized in shoulder, so that i could have surgery faster...nothing to say except thank you.


abaij  (A 61018)

Jun 20, 2012, 7:22 AM
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Re: [jean69004] How to get over a skydiving accident? [In reply to] Can't Post

In March of this year I broke my back doing a recurrency jump at around 39 jumps. It had been 4 months since my last jump and as a NOOB I probably should have used a larger canopy after that length of layoff. I didn't flare in time, didn't PLF. After 8 weeks I got the all-clear to go back to the DZ to get current again, and I had alot of fear about my ability to flare and land. The night before that first post broken-back jump, I actually started to panic a bit. When I got to the DZ the next morning I talked to my instructor about my fears. That's what I'd recommend to you - talk you your instructor, find out your options, go over your EPs, maybe get in the harness to work on them. Get on the radio for your landing (I did my first jump back and it helped.) Ask your instructor if you can keep the first jump simple, do some breathing exercises on the way to altitude to help relax you. Once I got past that first jump the extreme anxiety let up a bit. At least I knew what to expect. Your fear of the door sounds pretty normal to me. I fear the door too, on every jump, and I am forcing myself to breath and relax on the ride to altitude. Again, talk with your instructors about your fears. Use their expertise and confidence and follow their recommendations. They want you to succeed. You are in a good position to overcome your fears because you can get to the DZ often. Speaking for myself, I tend to feel more confident after I've been able to make a few jumps close together. Good luck to you! I understand your fears, I have been there, but you have already proven you are a gutsy person by just jumping out of an airplane! Now you just need to decide if this is something you really want to go for and if your body is ready for it.


abaij  (A 61018)

Jun 20, 2012, 7:38 AM
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Re: [jean69004] How to get over a skydiving accident? [In reply to] Can't Post

Oops, got your post mixed up with another one -- Blush disregard what I said about you being able to get to the DZ often. Are you close to your DZ? In the beginning, it does help if you can get there every weekend ... so if you live close by, go as often as you can. That sure helped me.


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Jun 20, 2012, 8:35 AM
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I should clarify, My instructor remark was a reference to possibly being hit in freefall. Hey,it's happened.

Glad you made it through this ok.


Abedy  (D 10153)

Jun 20, 2012, 10:32 AM
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Re: [jean69004] How to get over a skydiving accident? [In reply to] Can't Post

I broke my right humerus and scattered my right scapula during a freefly skydiving accident (premature opening, arm caught by riser and thus broken etc) some years ago. Took me half a year to recover... since a lot of additional damage was done by the butchers at the hospital in my home town. Anyway, the positive feeling after the "revision operation" and subsequent speedy recovery was one positive aspect - you also have that advantage.
I then went to my DZ, talked to a very experienced instructor about my fears (of having a skydiving related accident again). We did sort of a refreshing course (mainly EPs), briefed the jump time and again... the door opened and I was calm as I had Jupp next to me. He stayed with me and everything went fine. I was so relieved. I did 3 more jumps on this day, one even a two-way with 15+ points (with an experienced skydiver girl). Hehe!
So: Look for an instructor who "radiates" experience and proficiency - this will give you a lot of confidence.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jun 20, 2012, 2:23 PM
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Has anyone suggested doing a few minutes in a wind tunnel?
That will prove that your shoulder is strong enough for freefall velocities and prove that you have full range of motion.
A wind tunnel is also a good place to practice turning, opening your own parachute, etc.


cocheese  (D 24000)

Jun 24, 2012, 5:27 AM
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Fear before pull time is useless. Don't be skurd til pull time.Cool


danielcroft  (D 31103)

Jun 24, 2012, 7:21 AM
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Re: [jean69004] How to get over a skydiving accident? [In reply to] Can't Post

There are quite a few people at my dz who have shoulder issues, most of them wear braces to help their shoulder stay in place. This might give you some confidence too. Make sure you talk to your instructors about that too as you don't want to end up with the wrong brace that might limit your movement in unexpected ways.

I was really scared of jumping for my first 100 jumps, it slowly got more manageable after that but I'm still scared of jumping, but now I've know how to manage the fear and how to separate the irrational from rational fear. I had two pilot chute hesitations (close together, had an experienced friend jump my rig who had the same issues, had the PC replaced before the next jump), I was literally crying when I got to the ground and for some time after.

Smart people are afraid of dangerous things. Don't beat yourself up for being scared.


thomas.n.thomas  (A 65931)

Jun 25, 2012, 7:24 PM
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I busted my right ankle landing into the trunk of a tree in Feb '11 and just got back to jumping a couple weeks ago. I am still in AFF going on to finish Cat D. I was and still am scared on the flight up, especially when they open the door. Breathing deep and letting it out slow helps. Just keep doing it every time you feel yourself get tense.
I was very scared of landing on my first jump back this year. I had it in my head that I was going to flare at the wrong time and hit hard or find another tree or obstacle again. Wearing an ankle brace gave me a little bit of confidence, but also just realizing that I am older and wiser after my accident helped as well.
I ended up landing the first jump standing without even taking a step. It was one of the best feelings I've had in a long time. I think it helped that my pattern was a bit more cautious this time (no tree flyovers on final) and the conditions were good. I'd say (from my limited experience), make sure everything feels ok and the conditions look good before you get back in the saddle. Take a jump to just belly fly and not have to worry about anything but enjoying the ride. Wear a brace. Basically just limit as many extraneous factors that cause concern, and breathe.
You'll do fine. Just *shaking hand*


jean69004

Aug 12, 2012, 9:43 AM
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Re: [thomas.n.thomas] How to get over a skydiving accident? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey guys!

Just wanted to say that I went back skydiving this week-end. Everything was perfect, and my shoulder made it ok (even if it hurts a little on some movements).
I finished my AFF and also did my first jump "all by myself".

Thanks for all the tips!


DcloudZ  (B 37320)

Aug 13, 2012, 9:41 AM
Post #17 of 20 (1512 views)
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Re: [jean69004] How to get over a skydiving accident? [In reply to] Can't Post

Glad to hear that you're back in the sky!Smile


abaij  (A 61018)

Aug 13, 2012, 10:26 AM
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Awesome! Glad you're back. Congratulations!


shibu  (C 42074)

Aug 15, 2012, 6:01 AM
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Re: [pchapman] How to get over a skydiving accident? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
and sorry for my poor english (I'm french)

That's funny, your English grammar, vocabulary, and general writing skills are far better than many native English speakers one encounters on the web these days...Crazy

Fa Shizle Ma Nizzle.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Aug 15, 2012, 9:53 AM
Post #20 of 20 (1315 views)
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Re: [jean69004] How to get over a skydiving accident? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Hey guys!

Just wanted to say that I went back skydiving this week-end. Everything was perfect, and my shoulder made it ok (even if it hurts a little on some movements).
I finished my AFF and also did my first jump "all by myself".

Thanks for all the tips!

.......................................................................

Good on you!

As for the sore shoulder ... rest it for a day or three, then get back at the push-ups, chin-ups etc.

I dis-located my right shoulder (in a plane crash) four years ago. The only thing that got me back in the air was two rounds of physio-therapy, thousands of push-ups and hundreds of chin-ups. Even so, the recovery process still took eight months (before I could do tandems again) and a year before I could walk without pain.

Keep at it skydiver!



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