Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Chute Opening

 

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bdperry1  (Student)

Oct 21, 2012, 6:28 PM
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Chute Opening Can't Post

Hello everyone. I am very new to the sport with 5 jumps, 4 AFF. To be quite honest, my first jumps I was scared shitless and never completed my AFF. I want to ask the experienced skydivers out there a question. When you jump, how confident are you that in reality your main will open correctly? I know the statistics. I want to know how experienced jumpers feel. Does the scared shitless felling ever really leave? The high level of anxiety I felt made it not very much fun. All I did was pray the whole time and I felt like I was playing russian roulette with my life.


suuz83  (B 716290)

Oct 21, 2012, 6:42 PM
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Re: [bdperry1] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

Make 10 or 20 jumps more and ask yourself the same question again.

And for those jumps, instead of 'trusting your gear' at that time, trust us saying that you can trust your gear. Also start packing, learning how a parachute is packed gives you more confidence in how it all works. And if it doesn't work properly at one time... you still have plan B - your reserve.


CarpeDiem3  (D License)

Oct 21, 2012, 7:06 PM
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Re: [bdperry1] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

Keep jumping, and with more experience, you'll learn to trust your gear, and that will decrease the fear. After a while, it becomes routine, like jumping off a diving board into the swimming pool, and you don't think much about the risk any more. But you always have to be ready to respond appropriately to a malfunction.


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Oct 21, 2012, 7:06 PM
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Re: [suuz83] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

Good advice above ^ But, I'd add that this is an extreme sport and, as such, is not for everyone. If you are not enjoying yourself, what's the point? Smile


bdperry1  (Student)

Oct 21, 2012, 7:13 PM
Post #5 of 42 (4411 views)
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Re: [skyjumpenfool] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with your statement. My problem is that I keep finding myself watching skydiving videos and thinking that it would be a lot fun if I could just calm down. But, as you say, it is an extreme sport and you are in fact risking your life. I jut wonder how many jumpers feel the anxiety of fear everytime the head to the dropzone.


uberchris  (A License)

Oct 21, 2012, 7:34 PM
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Re: [bdperry1] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

i never really went through the gear fear thing, it just didnt enter my thought process.

however, for some really strange reason, i was scared SHITLESS of the door until jump number 80. i mean really, im going to willingly throw myself out of the plane, but for some reason i just got petrified being near the door, or when i started to approach it from the back of the plane. very weird............then all of a sudden one day i found myself sitting next to it, with my leg outside the plane, staring at the hawaiian ocean, and i realized, HOLY SHIT, im not afraid of the door anymore...............it really happened just all of a sudden.

good luck bro, just keep at it


-Joey-  (B License)

Oct 21, 2012, 7:58 PM
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Re: [bdperry1] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

For me, the jitters were gone after about the 10th jump. (second or third solo jump).

Skydiving has about the same fatality rate as Tennis, just remind yourself of that on your way out the door Smile


ChrisL  (C 35323)

Oct 21, 2012, 8:33 PM
Post #8 of 42 (4360 views)
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Re: [bdperry1] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I agree with your statement. My problem is that I keep finding myself watching skydiving videos and thinking that it would be a lot fun if I could just calm down. But, as you say, it is an extreme sport and you are in fact risking your life. I jut wonder how many jumpers feel the anxiety of fear everytime the head to the dropzone.

Took me a while to overcome that. I felt it a lot during my first 40 -50 or so jumps.

It was worth working through it for me, but everyone is different.

I know another person that just gave it up because she has over 100 jumps and it still scares the crap out of her.

I will say that to feel it at your level is 100% normal


Krip  (Student)

Oct 21, 2012, 9:10 PM
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Re: [bdperry1] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi BD

Read the incident reports on DZ.com.

The trend for the lat 15 yr's is most jumpers jumpers hurting themselves because they can't land a perfectly good parachute.ShockedCrazyMadPirate

The incident reports are a little misleading since no one is keeping track of the jumpers that are ending up being permently maimed for the same reasonFrown

A canopy course can't fix stupidFrown

R.


(This post was edited by Krip on Oct 21, 2012, 9:13 PM)


rhopstr  (A 711219)

Oct 22, 2012, 3:55 AM
Post #10 of 42 (4234 views)
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Re: [bdperry1] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm pretty new myself with just over 100 jumps but I'd second what someone else already said earlier: learn to pack. Make sure you understand the function of every bit of kit and when or why you'd need it to be on your rig.

You'll become very familiar with your equipment and especially why it's so safe when used correctly.

That should take the edge off, leaving you with a far better manageable fear level that will most likely diminish as you jump.

So go and jump regularly after you've learned to pack. Your skillset will grow, the fun you'll have will increase and you'll become a safer skydiver in the process. Normally this should all reflect on your fear level.

By the time you have about 50 jumps it will probably be hard to conjure up the feeling of fear that you're feeling now.

Let us know how things worked out for you!


mr2mk1g  (C 103449)

Oct 22, 2012, 4:37 AM
Post #11 of 42 (4220 views)
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Re: [bdperry1] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

Learn to pack.

The little voice going "oh my god, will it open... what if I have a lineover?" as you walk towards the door can then be answered by your other inner voice "yeah, it'll be fine, I remember doing XY & Z and I remeber my instructor taught me all about lineovers and how they occur".

Gear fear dissapears largely with knowledge and understanding.


dsemac91  (A 63513)

Oct 22, 2012, 6:53 AM
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Re: [mr2mk1g] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

I just earned my A license in May, I have 31 jumps (trying to save money for gear by jumping less frequently but enough to stay current) and I still have a small little fear on the first jump of the day every single time, but once my parachute opens on that first jump i'm all set for the day.

Idk man, when I was a student I walked through so many different scenarios that could possibly happen and I would just day dream about how I would handle it, and if i ever had a doubt I would ask my instructors, over and over and over,(thats what youre paying them for right?)

Another thing that helped me is I watched (and still watch) many many malfunction videos on youtube... on a pretty much daily basis.

But for a pack job error, I think the best solution would be like the above guy mentioned: learn to pack! I'm jumping rentals and luckily the packers here have taught me a thing or two and are very nice. So I trust their work, but once I get my own gear You bet your butt im packing my own gear!


peedeepalmer  (D 32625)

Oct 22, 2012, 6:56 AM
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Re: [mr2mk1g] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

The fear is likely from a lack of understanding of what you can possibly do. I say this because at jump 5 you are probably only falling straight down with the aid of an AFF. As you skills develop through your AFF progression you will see that your confidence will increase.
For me, I was nervous in the plane all the way to the door, but once I checked in and launched all fear disappeared. I owe this to my AFF instructors. For the first few jumps, I remember coming down the hill looking at my main side smiling at me.
Later, when I earned my coach rating, the fear came back. Again it was the plane ride up and the walk to the door. The difference was now I was responsible for a student. After the first couple of coach jumps, the fear went away.
If you are taking everything seriously, as you continue to progress you will likely get nervous at each benchmark in your career. I my opinion this is a good thing.
Now for what I assume you want, how to calm yourself down…I completely agree, learn how to pack. This will help your confidence significantly. Understanding of how the canopy goes through the deployment process is important. Don’t start there. Get a rigger to help you understanding everything from the pin getting extracted after you throw your PC to how your 3 rings work. Another great thing that worked for me during student progression was staying around the DZ after hours and hanging out with those that are more experience. Remember to filter the bullshit. When it comes to anything related to student progression, listen to your AFF-I’s and coaches. The last thing is stop thinking so much. What scared me was over analyzing my jump. Once I stop focusing on all the things that could go wrong and thinking about how to make everything go right, my confidence increased. Think through your dive flow, visualize every objective of your freefall, deployment, canopy skills, landing pattern and landing…visualize it being done correctly.


excuse  (C 41141)

Oct 22, 2012, 7:06 AM
Post #14 of 42 (4130 views)
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Re: [bdperry1] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

I’m still new to the sport. I started AFF the end of May and was signed off to solo self supervision in July (I was only getting about one AFF jump a week so it took FOREVER!!!) Now I’ve got my A license and I’m working on my B. But, I can totally relate. On the ground I loved every thing about skydiving… I tell people that AFF is just like school… When you leave the plane you have homework on the way down, and no one really likes homework! When it was my turn to go up, my nerves kicked in and all of a sudden I wasn’t thinking how much I loved to skydive. I did keep at it, and it wasn’t until my diving exit on the 6th AFF that I started to be ok with it. And my 7th AFF, “graduation jump”, my nerves seem to finally take a back seat. They were still there, but I had more confidence that I knew what I was doing.
My first or second solo jump I had line twist, yes only a nuisance, but I didn’t even have to think about what I needed to do, I just reacted with pulling the risers and kicking it out. Everyone that has posted I have agreed 100% with their statements. I, too, was terrified of the door until I was on my 4th or 5th solo (it made it worse when everyone would yell DOOOOOOR!) And skydiving is not for everyone, but if you want to do it, and continue to jump, your nerves will get better. A good saying “I have not conquered fear, but I kick it in the nuts every time I skydive.” (which is soooo true!)
And as far as your main not opening… You have been taught the skills what to do if that happens. Review them, practice them, and watch videos of cutaways so you can see what others do in that situation, its muscle memory! And yes, packing is important too! Tongue


(This post was edited by excuse on Oct 22, 2012, 7:35 AM)


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Oct 22, 2012, 10:01 AM
Post #15 of 42 (4065 views)
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Re: [peedeepalmer] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
... you want ... to calm yourself down … stop thinking so much. ... Think through your dive flow, visualize every objective of your freefall, deployment, canopy skills, landing pattern and landing…visualize it being done correctly.

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

Show up early for your next skydive.
Explain your anxiety to your instructor. He/she will talk you through some breathing and calming and visualisation exercises - in a quiet corner of the hangar.
The exercises won't "stick" very well the first time you try them in the airplane, but if you make a point of practicing breathing and visualisation away from the DZ, eventually, you will be able to "slip away"to a quiet place in your mind during the ride up in the airplane.
As you approach jump altitude, you will emerge from your "quiet place" relaxed and refreshed and focussed on the dive flow.
Just remember to do the first few mental rehearsals with an instructor and focus on doing the dive flow perfectly, so that when you exit the airplane, the only thing that will flow through your mind is the correct dive flow. You will land, saying to yourself: "thay went exactly as planned."


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Oct 22, 2012, 12:40 PM
Post #16 of 42 (4014 views)
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Re: [bdperry1] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

There has been a lot of talk about "gear fear" in here.

What you are describing is not gear fear....it is a lack of confidence in yourself. That, in and of itself, is to be expected and is almost universally common for new jumpers.

You already know that equipment (your main) will eventually not open properly and you were trained on what to do when that happens. The "fear" is not knowing that you can handle it properly and it is going to be there until you develop the confidence in yourself that you will handle the problem properly.

Kinda like learning to ride a bike. It was scary at first but now it's not....because you know you can handle it. It's going to work the same way in skydiving....and it's normal.

Learn your EPs and drill them into your head to the point of being able to instantly rattle off the correct procedures for each and every one of them.


bdperry1  (Student)

Oct 22, 2012, 2:30 PM
Post #17 of 42 (3956 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you everyone for your feedback. I will be sure to follow all of this advice. I do have confidence that the training will prepare me for the day a cut-away comes. I just really want to know how confident experienced skydivers feel that they will make it back hone to their loved ones alive and well from a day at the dropzone. I read a fatality report about a skydiver that left a note on her dresser with instructions on how to take care of her affairs in the event of her demise before she headed for the DZ. She ended up being a statistic. I feel that if a skydiver feels that way everytime he or she is headed to the DZ, it's not worth the risk and the anxiety. Apparently, she was not too confident she would come back alive from a day of jumping. :(


suuz83  (B 716290)

Oct 22, 2012, 7:23 PM
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Re: [bdperry1] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sure everyone is aware of the risk there is in the sport. But let's see it like this. The risk might be higher you die in a car accident on your way to the DZ or work. What would you think now everytime you drive to work? Leave a letter in case you won't make it back..?

If I were you I would make some 20 jumps more and then re-asses your thoughts... If you still feel the same, consider if you really want to continue. If you don't, you understand everything everyone is writing here now.

Another example; I work as a pilot, of which 4 year in general aviation and 6 months in an airline now. I my career, I have witnessed a crash, I have known 5 or 6 persons personally who died in a crash, and a few more not personally. That is horrible in such a short time hey? But would it stop me flying and renting a small single engine airplane in my free time: NO. Yes there is a risk, similar compared to skydiving. But if you true love what you're doing you will be aware and deal with that risk...

So if you continue jumping, go to the DZ early, ask good advise and don't worry too much!!


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Oct 22, 2012, 8:58 PM
Post #19 of 42 (3874 views)
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Re: [suuz83] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The risk might be higher you die in a car accident on your way to the DZ or work.
Nope, you're about 6 times more likely to get killed jumping than in a car wreck. Sorry.


suuz83  (B 716290)

Oct 22, 2012, 10:53 PM
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, didn't really know the statistics, but that was what we used to say to our passengers on aerial flights when they asked how dangerous it was to fly on a small airplane. I just assumed the risk was similar flying a small plane and jumping from it :)


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Oct 23, 2012, 12:05 AM
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Re: [suuz83] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

That's okay. I'm not sure the stats on small planes but they crash with surprising regularity too. It all depends on the pilot, both his skill and esp. judgement, IMO.

Passengers get lied to a lot. Tongue


-Joey-  (B License)

Oct 23, 2012, 12:11 AM
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
The risk might be higher you die in a car accident on your way to the DZ or work.
Nope, you're about 6 times more likely to get killed jumping than in a car wreck. Sorry.

Hmm.. this source says otherwise: http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/...oth/Risk/sports.html

Cycling, running, and swimming are all more dangerous than skydiving, but are less dangerous than being in an automobile, according to the data.


(This post was edited by -Joey- on Oct 23, 2012, 12:13 AM)


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Oct 23, 2012, 12:31 AM
Post #23 of 42 (3844 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
That's okay. I'm not sure the stats on small planes but they crash with surprising regularity too. It all depends on the pilot, both his skill and esp. judgement, IMO.

Passengers get lied to a lot. Tongue

This site will give you an idea just how many small A/C fall out of the sky.

Sparky

http://www.ntsb.gov/...tionquery/month.aspx


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Oct 23, 2012, 12:39 AM
Post #24 of 42 (3843 views)
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Re: [-Joey-] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
The risk might be higher you die in a car accident on your way to the DZ or work.
Nope, you're about 6 times more likely to get killed jumping than in a car wreck. Sorry.

Hmm.. this source says otherwise: http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/...oth/Risk/sports.html

Cycling, running, and swimming are all more dangerous than skydiving, but are less dangerous than being in an automobile, according to the data.

The data on that site is useless. It compares swimming in Germany, hang gliding in the UK and skydiving in the US. That’s like apples and rocks. Oh and it doesn’t give any data on dying in a car wreck.

Sparky


-Joey-  (B License)

Oct 23, 2012, 1:12 AM
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Re: [mjosparky] Chute Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

I see what you're saying, the samples aren't all from the same pool...

Alternatively one could just browse the fatality DB here and note that almost all of them were preventable with either an AAD, proper EP's, or not doing low hook turns.

I'm sure the OP being a student will be required to use a rental rig with an AAD, and isn't going to be swooping anytime soon. That just leaves being able to locate the red handle. And not chopping at 200 feet... Pirate


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