Sep 24, 2012, 3:53 PM
Post #1 of 29
AFF Jitters- Losing Instructors?
Did my first jump yesterday (well, a tandem) and- as expected- I think I'm hooked. It was AMAZING! Probably the most *alive* I have ever felt.
I think I'm ready to go on to AFF but have a fear of losing the instructors, going into some sort of spin/ending up on my back, freaking the hell out and...well you see where I'm going. I'm 5'5 and around 108 lbs and can just see myself flittering away like a balloon someone is letting the air out of!
My question is...erm...how often does this happen? Is this a situation that I can be fairly assured won't occur? Am I letting my imagination get the best of me?
I'm thinking of training at Homestead or Clewiston. I assume I'll be in good hands at either DZ but have this nagging little fear.
It's strange. I have never been a risk-taker/extreme-sports enthusiast and wrestling with this incredible desire to get up there and learn how to *FALL* out of an airplane is a totally foreign feeling for me.
I think I'm ready to go on to AFF but have a fear of losing the instructors
If you bring an ice cold case of good quality beer (like Shiner Bock or Left Hand) to the DZ with you, the instructors will always be near you after sunset.
Before sunset they'll be with you on the skydive and you will be trained on how to conduct yourself if you some how lose both of the instructors during the jump. Deep breath, it's your skydive and you're in charge of you. They're just there to help you accomplish what you were taught on the ground.
"going into some sort of spin/ending up on my back, freaking the hell out and..." been there, did exactly that, felt like a total jackass...rest assured, AFF instructors are trained for these sorts of things. They actually expect you to make every mistake in the book, and they know how to fix it when you do. As for letting you just drift away, I don't really see that happening - all 3 of you will be going in the same direction...down!
Go for it, enjoy it, listen and learn, you'll do great!
It's not that unusual of a fear, but it's really a very uncommon situation. The DZ should realize that you are going to fall pretty slowly and give you instructors who are appropriate for you. I highly doubt you would get one of the "Anvil Brothers" for your first jump.
And there's lots of folks who aren't into extreme anything that fell in love with the sky. And who have a bit of confusion about that.
The best description of the whole deal that I know of is in cartoon form.
Based on your location and the caliber of Instrcutors in that area; losing them is going to be a pretty hard thing to do. Not saying it can't happen, but you'd have to get pretty damn creative to lose them. Not saying you can't get that creative, but as Aggie and a couple of others have pointed out, "There's an app for that."
Don't over-think it.
(This post was edited by BIGUN on Sep 25, 2012, 5:23 AM)
-Your instructors will prepare you carefully to prevent this... Learn well how to "ARCH" -Your instructors will be VERY aware of your body size on the ground. (You may never hear it... but there will likely be a discussion about it.) They will assign instructors accordingly (slow fallers). -Your instructors will choose their jumpsuits to match your anticipated fall rate, known as "dress for success". -Your instructors will dress you in a jumpsuit which will help match your fall rate to theirs. -Your instructors will work to help keep you calm in the plane. -As you exit....ARCH! -Your instructors are good at flying YOU into position if your body position is a bit goofy. -ARCH! -If your instructors give you signals to fix your body position... Do what they tell you!!! -ARCH! -If your body position is really bad and you are very unstable, one instructor may release and stay nearby to assist. (It is often easier to fix tumbles with just one instructor docked on student). -ARCH! -Your instructors are skilled at stopping any spin you might have, and at rolling you over if necessary. -ARCH! -In the VERY uncommon situation where you lose both instructors..... PULL NOW!!!!!!!! -If you lose both... They will be flying VERY aggressively to capture you! -ARCH! -If you lose both instructors, and can't/don't pull...your AAD will attempt to activate your reserve. -ARCH! -If you, both your instructors, & your AAD are all unsuccessful ..... Don't worry, you signed the wavier!!! ;-)
Losing both instructors is possible but very uncommon. I have almost 350 AFF-I jumps. I have NEVER seen a student toss off BOTH instructors. I have seen some students do their "best" to lose both, without success!
To help you understand one of many reasons that it is hard to toss both off: We have a strong grip on your leg strap, with our hand entirely gripping it. I have had several times when I had a leg strap pull off my glove when the opening canopy pulled the student out of my hand ...and I was TRYING to let go! Our grip on the leg strap is so deep that the backs of our fingers are against your leg, as we grasp the leg strap with our whole hand.
well in fact i loose both my instructors umm twice. i loose them, my AFF I catch me and then i loose him again, and he catch me again. they trained to do that. and yes they incoming to catch you hard. very hard.
(This post was edited by Karolis on Sep 25, 2012, 7:47 AM)
>My question is...erm...how often does this happen?
Rarely. I've only seen it happen twice out of maybe 1200 AFF jumps I've done. And even if it does happen the solution is very simple - pull.
One of those was my student in the FJC although I didn't jump with him. He really fought on exit and the reserve side got off (per SOP at that DZ) then he started to spin; he managed to throw the main side instructor after about ten revolutions. He spun for five seconds, then a pilot chute appeared followed by a canopy. I was proud of that guy.
Thank you all so much-- my mind is more at ease. Still can't believe I'm doing this but how can I ignore something that is dominating my thoughts?!
AggieDave- thank you for the reassurance (and the heads-up on the sunset hijinks...)Hell, if make it to the ground in one piece I'll a buy a keg of shiner
Rem- how great you get to jump with your wife! Does she have to wear weights- or is it a matter of learning how to fly?
Lazarus- Will be listening and learning intently!
WRJ- Love Namo's blog. A kindred spirit for sure.
Dthames- Please forgive my ignorance...but I once heard that static line carries more risk than AFF. Am I dreaming this up? I will definitely check into alternatives- so thanks for this info!
Bigun- good to hear the vote of confidence for these dropzones. I'm very lucky to have so many choices. Will be checking both out before I commit. And thanks for reminding me not to overthink it...I tend to do that on occasion
Glide- wow this is fantastic! Thanks so much! Should I do some tunnel time BEFORE I get started?