Forums: General: Introductions and Greets:
Hello and Happy Holidays


BigMikeH77  (B 39490)

Dec 17, 2012, 11:35 AM
Post #1 of 15 (1439 views)
Hello and Happy Holidays Can't Post

Hi all, I'm Michael from Denver. Did my AFF-1 course on Saturday and unfortunately botched the exit. Will have to retake level 1. It's a bit disheartening but the way I look at it, 1) It was a successful jump - Other than the exit, I did everything I was supposed to, 2) A lot of things went wrong with the jump and I handled it all well. Big experience points, and I should be more relaxed and ready for the repeat.

FlyingRhenquest  (B 37920)

Dec 17, 2012, 3:14 PM
Post #2 of 15 (1364 views)
Re: [BigMikeH77] Hello and Happy Holidays [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, I didn't think you could pull and still fail AFF 1. What exactly do you have to do on exit to get to that point? Short of chucking both instructors out the door and then going 5 seconds later, I can't think of anything. And if that's what you did, kudos to you!

On a more serious note, failing one of the AFF jumps is not a big deal. Hell, I failed about half of mine. It doesn't reflect on what kind of skydiver you'll turn out to be. I'm only 66 jumps in and that's all a distant memory!

I wouldn't even call it failing, honestly. I learned more, hell WE, learned more, from the jumps I failed than the ones I passed. I feel like I'm a better skydiver than I'd have been if everything had gone flawlessly those first 7 jumps. A somewhat poorer skydiver, but definitely better! Any jump where you take something away from it is a success. And if anyone tries to tell you different, well chuck 'em out the door and then go yourself 5 seconds later!

BigMikeH77  (B 39490)

Dec 17, 2012, 3:38 PM
Post #3 of 15 (1360 views)
Re: [FlyingRhenquest] Hello and Happy Holidays [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks :-) I don't call it a failure because I did everything right but the exit - here's what happened;

Exiting from a King Air, I felt the main instructor give me a good shake - so I started.. Up, down arch! I was supposed to step/jump out sideways, but what I did was arch my body out to the left. My main instructor immediately lost grip and my reserve instructor (who was measurably smaller than I), went into a vertical tumble. He said that he couldnt control it, and so let go.

So there I was, on my AFF-1, falling from 12,500' by myself. I didn't freak out or flail my arms/legs about. I realized I was alone and out of control then arched as best I could. I swear there was a second or two where I was stable, belly down - with the instructors nowhere in sight, I pulled at 9,000'.

Apparently I had a bit of spin or tumble, because my main canopy opened with three line twists. Again, I didnt freak out but spread the risers and kicked... They worked themselves out and I got an extended, but turbulent, ride down to the ground.

Like I mentioned, aside from the exit I did everything right so I'm trying to not beat myself up over it. The instructor couldnt pass me for AFF-1 because clearly, neither were around.

I got the strange feeling that they were upset. Maybe they had some paperwork to do or something.

popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Dec 17, 2012, 10:11 PM
Post #4 of 15 (1327 views)
Re: [BigMikeH77] Hello and Happy Holidays [In reply to] Can't Post

Your instructors couldn't advance you to Level 2 because you didn't meet Level 1 requirements and objectives.

What were those things you were supposed to have done on Level 1?

Kudos for deploying when you did. Excellent!

Question...On your long canopy ride, what were you doing?

BTW, you didn't fail, it isn't a simply need to do it a bit better next time in order to show proficiency in the objectives.

Premier skymama  (D 26699)
Dec 18, 2012, 4:52 AM
Post #5 of 15 (1311 views)
Re: [BigMikeH77] Hello and Happy Holidays [In reply to] Can't Post

Welcome to the forums! Smile It's good to hear you are focusing on what you did well on the first jump and it sounds like you know what you need to do in order to pass the next time. I bet you'll nail it! Let us know how it goes and happy holidays to you too!

FlyingRhenquest  (B 37920)

Dec 18, 2012, 5:11 AM
Post #6 of 15 (1309 views)
Re: [BigMikeH77] Hello and Happy Holidays [In reply to] Can't Post

Oooh a king air! This wasn't at Mile Hi by any chance, was it? You know that half my AFF jumps I mentioned that I "failed" earlier? Every single one of them was out of a king air. The early AFF exit with two instructors out of that plane is a huge pain in the ass, and I told them as much in the retrospectives. I'd come in on the weekend, do a jump out of the otter (With its much larger door) and pass it, and then come in during the week, do one out of the king air and have the same situation you described.

That's how I first failed my AFF2. I only lost one of my instructors, but we took so long flailing around trying to get stable that we didn't have time to complete the objectives.

I thought it might have been just me, but I think they maybe should reconsider how they do early AFF exits out of that plane. Once I got to the point where I could climb out on my own, I was fine. That doesn't work very well until you get over being intimidated by the door, though, and that's different for everyone.

What I'd suggest is talk to your instructors about the problem you had last time and see if they have advice on how to solve it. Also, once you get your rig on, head over to the door mock-up and practice your exit there until you're comfortable with it. The king air door is actually a wee bit easier to get out of than their mock up, so if you can do it out of the mockup it'll be easier in the air.

From inside the plane, take a deep breath, put your right foot forward with your toe right at the corner of the exit, then put your left heel against the back of the exit and you should be golden.

Remember that the WORST POSSIBLE thing that can happen here at the exit is you fall out of the plane early and you have a parachute! So it's not a big deal if that happens! But I guarantee you that your strength will be enough to hold you, your instructors will make sure that doesn't happen and if you can just relax and act like that 12,000 foot drop is no different than doing it out of the mock up on the ground, you'll be fine! I was!

If it's at Mile Hi, ask manifest if Bruce is around. I'll be there this weekend, probably around 11AM or so, unless the weather just completely sucks. I'll be happy to hang out with you over at the mockup and give you some pointers. The weather should be nicer this weekend too, so maybe there will be enough people for them to be flying the otter. If that's the case, I suggest that you try to knock out your first 3 jumps ASAP. Once you get down to one instructor and climbing out, it's a lot easier to get out of a king air. That's a nice plane to do your later jumps out of.

It may seem like a long path ahead of you now, but AFF will be over in a flash. I was stunned at how fast progress went on those early jumps. I'd have never called that I'd be climbing around like a freaking spider monkey outside the plane by AFF 4. But there you go! Funnily enough by then I was so used to the king air that when I did my first solo exit out of the otter, it felt like we were standing still. That exit still makes me laugh! I wonder if I could replicate it now. I might have to try it again out of the otter one of these days just for giggles. I'd have failed that jump if I were any less stable or altitude aware once I got stable. After watching the video we agreed it was OK for me to move on to my 6.

jimmytavino  (A 3914)

Dec 18, 2012, 7:28 AM
Post #7 of 15 (1301 views)
Re: [BigMikeH77] Hello and Happy Holidays [In reply to] Can't Post

i NEVER made even ONE successful AFF level skydive.....Unsure

never Botched one Up,,, either....Wink

since AFF ( and tandem for that matter) came along
waaay after i had become comfortable with the sport.. I'm a product of the static Line program...WinkSmile

I have jumped from a KING Air... enough to Know that it is a rather Tough aircraft from which to make a first skydive. Unsure
Smallish sized door and Awfully fast... on jump run...

stick with things get better...
And Have fun...
skydive safely, skydive often, skydive with friends

BigMikeH77  (B 39490)

Dec 18, 2012, 11:10 AM
Post #8 of 15 (1279 views)
Re: [popsjumper] Hello and Happy Holidays [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Pops,

Yes, I understand that the AFF-1 objectives weren't met - The dive flow was supposed to consist of an exit (with both instructors), Circle of awareness, practice touches, another COA, heading-altitude,heading, altitude.... lock on altimiter at 6,000, pull at 5,500, controlability, and so on.

On my long canopy ride, I was a little freaked out because of the high altitude at which I pulled and the winds from 8,000 to 7,500 were pretty turbulent. I was making sure that I knew where the drop zone was, where I was heading under canopy, and checking my altitude. The flight down under canopy was much longer than anticipated, so I made a series of turns and did my best to keep in the holding area and away from the runway.

I beat myself up a bit over the exit fiasco, but I just keep telling myself that I didn't fail for obvious reasons and just have to be more focused next time.

FORTUNATELY the entry way to my kitchen is nearly the exact dimensions as that King Air door so I have been practicing my exits there.

BigMikeH77  (B 39490)

Dec 18, 2012, 11:12 AM
Post #9 of 15 (1278 views)
Re: [skymama] Hello and Happy Holidays [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, mama.. I certainly will! :-)

BigMikeH77  (B 39490)

Dec 18, 2012, 12:00 PM
Post #10 of 15 (1270 views)
Re: [FlyingRhenquest] Hello and Happy Holidays [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Bruce,

Yep, it was Mile-Hi! This past saturday was a bit overcast and there wasn't exactly a large plethera of jumpers that day. As far as my Aff-1 class, it was just me and one other aspiring jumper and he was there for ground school only.

I agree with you about the King Air and beginner jumps, although I don't really have anything to compare it to. Not that I am in any sort of position to request a specific plane or anything :-) It's just what was flying that day.

I will say that although I was considerably unnerved by the door (not just the King Air, but ANY open door of a plane at altitude), what really scared the bejesus out of me more than anything was the wind and the sound of the wind as I was at the exit. It distracted me perhaps. I wasn't ready for it maybe. I just wanted it to stop.. lol. Who knows.

But for early AFF, from what I understand thus far, the exit from the Otter is different from the exit out of the King Air. From the Otter the student has their hands together and is pushed up against the reserve instructor on exit, while from the King Air the student has one hand on the outside of the pland and one inside, with their waist up against the door opening.

When my instructors went through what had happened, I thought that perhaps I arched my body to the left in an attempt to make sure that my right side (shoulder, arms, rig) fully cleared the door. I think that had a lot to do with it, although my instructor said that at the door my body is already pretty much out of the plane so motioning to avoid the door isn't necessary.

I'm not a little guy - 6' 1". But I think the remedy to this, regardless of the aircraft is just practice. The entryway to my kitched in practically identical to the width of the King Air door, so it's cool that I can practice right there at home. Practice COA, practice the exit, practice RELAXING. But this early on, relaxing is certainly easier said than done.

I want to get back to the DZ soon, as it's less expensive for me to redo AFF1 with in 7 days. But I've been looking at the weather for Longmont and although yesterday it said sunny Friday with partly cloudy Saturday, It's now mostly cloudy all weekend. I'd hate to get there only to have the clouds prevent a student jump. Will wait until tomorrow or thursday and decide what's going to happen.

I liked your level 5 video :-) The legwork on exit gave me a good chuckle, not because I'm better or anything (clearly!) but because it was just funny.

If I get to Mile-Hi this weekend, I'll ask manifest if you're there!


FlyingRhenquest  (B 37920)

Dec 18, 2012, 1:04 PM
Post #11 of 15 (1261 views)
Re: [BigMikeH77] Hello and Happy Holidays [In reply to] Can't Post

Well it sounds like you're in a similar boat to me all around. You're thinking about how to fix it though, which I think is the correct attitude. If it's at all sunny on the weekend there should be more of a crowd there. Since you don't have to sit through ground school again, you should find it easier to just grab a couple instructors and get on a plane.

Those two jumps I showed you were really the first ones where I was comfortable at the door. Before that, I didn't want to have anything to do with it. I tried to break down all the things that were bothering me before that. I think I was still very nervous about the unfamiliar equipment, still nervous about my parachute saving my life, and of course that Hollywood image of people getting sucked out of the door of the plane. Hey, at least you're not there in the summer, when they'd open the damn thing for cooling on the way up! I think it was their little game of "Freak the AFF student out." I wish I had gotten the video of my earlier jumps, the fear in my eyes is priceless. Funnily I didn't remember feeling as frightened as I looked!

One of the problems I ran into is that the instructors didn't always have a lot of time to spend with me pre-jump, and I didn't know what questions to ask them even if we ended up standing around for 20 minutes. When one of them sat down and took me through the gear check on my rig, that really did help a lot. I got the basic one from ground school, but he went into a lot more detail on it. Taking the packing class really helped a lot too, though that was much later. You really start to learn your way around your equipment when you get into that level of detail.

Yeah, that level 5 jump still makes me laugh. I'm glad to say my exit has gotten a lot better since then. It still took a while before I stopped tumbling head over heels a couple times on exit, but about half of those were intentional. Once you know how to get stable, it's kind of fun to get unstable for a while. Then you just arch and pop back to the correct fall position. It's like a magic trick. Took me a while to remember that on that level 5 jump, but I was yelling "ARCH M------" at myself from the first backflip!

As far as I know, the next time they're likely to be flying is Friday afternoon. They'll probably be flying the Cessna that day, which is kind of fun all on its own. That'd probably be easier to exit for AFF, as well. A bit cold though, getting to altitude. If Friday looks good and you want to head over there, be sure to call them in advance and make sure they have AFF instructors available. If it's sunny and in the 40s on Friday I might be lurking around that day too -- It's been a couple weeks since my last skydive and I'm startin' to get itchy!

The nice thing is your AFF and coach jumps will usually be more demanding than solo ones. So once you get those out of the way, your next jumps can be nice and relaxing. You'll get to do a couple of solo jumps right out of AFF just to get a feel for what it feels like to be on your own. That's something fun to look forward to!

popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Dec 18, 2012, 5:27 PM
Post #12 of 15 (1247 views)
Re: [FlyingRhenquest] Hello and Happy Holidays [In reply to] Can't Post

Excellent, encouraging post.^^^

popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Dec 18, 2012, 5:31 PM
Post #13 of 15 (1246 views)
Re: [BigMikeH77] Hello and Happy Holidays [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I beat myself up a bit over the exit fiasco, but I just keep telling myself that I didn't fail for obvious reasons and just have to be more focused next time.
Ahh man, give yourself some credit for the things you did right!
In reality, the exit could have been the AFFIs fault...ain't none of us perfect!

Either way, welcome to the big blue skies, eh?

BigMikeH77  (B 39490)

Dec 18, 2012, 9:02 PM
Post #14 of 15 (1235 views)
Re: [popsjumper] Hello and Happy Holidays [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes... The big blue skies.. :-)

promise5  (Student)

Dec 20, 2012, 11:41 AM
Post #15 of 15 (1188 views)
Re: [BigMikeH77] Hello and Happy Holidays [In reply to] Can't Post

hhhhhhmm botched the exit and alot went wrong?? hhhhmmmm yeah, tandem for me Tongue But, congrats on handling it all well

(This post was edited by promise5 on Dec 20, 2012, 11:44 AM)

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