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T2-Stumble with altimeter and missed rip cord pull

 


Jerseywoman61  (Student)

Oct 22, 2013, 9:37 AM
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T2-Stumble with altimeter and missed rip cord pull Can't Post

I've jumped three times, and just did a T2 training jump. The progression is T1, T2, ground training, T3, and then picks up at AFF4, and continues with coached jumps, relaxed jumps, and I believe two more instructor jumps, for a total of 25. Then A-license.

Anyway, the T2 was a busy jump, from the exit of the plane. I did great getting us stabilized, left turns, right turns, forward motion. I did okay under canopy, and landing (of course with the instructor yelling "flare, flare, FLARE" on my back.

What I DID NOT DO, which is probably the biggest thing to actually do right, was check the altimeter and pull the rip cord. I still can't believe it. I remember checking the altimeter a few times (not nearly enough) and I can't remember it registering. I remember checking it at 6,000 ft and I was to wave off at 5500 and pull at 5000.

I'm not sure if I couldn't see it properly (I wear progressive lenses but I didn't wear them under my goggles). I could see the altimeter perfectly in the plane at about the same distance it would be during the jump. Could read it every time.

During the jump, like I said, I don't remember it registering at all, except maybe at 6000 ft, then I don't know what happened. I think maybe I even got confused by that point if it were the black part of the needle or the white.

I am unhappy, obviously, about this, and I don't know if it were the lack of glasses (and progressive lenses cannot possibly be the best choice since I still have to nod my head sometimes during the day to get the proper part of the lens), sensory overload, or just plain being an idiot.

I've actually done many IT searches about beginners failing to check their altimeters and then when checking, failing to even have it register in their brains, and I haven't turned up a whole lot. I can't possibly be the only one?

Will this pass? I know for this third jump, I was able to "see" and absorb from exit of the plane (those 8 seconds of my life that were missing the first two jumps), and I'm really hoping my T3 goes better this Sunday.

not-very-happy


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Oct 22, 2013, 9:46 AM
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Re: [Jerseywoman61] T2-Stumble with altimeter and missed rip cord pull [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I've actually done many IT searches about beginners failing to check their altimeters and then when checking, failing to even have it register in their brains, and I haven't turned up a whole lot. I can't possibly be the only one?

Far from it. Sensory overload is not at all uncommon in early student jumps. You certainly should discuss your concerns about your glasses with your instructor, but there's probably a higher chance that your brain was overloaded, not that you were having trouble actually seeing.


djmarvin  (D 22292)

Oct 22, 2013, 9:57 AM
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Re: [Jerseywoman61] T2-Stumble with altimeter and missed rip cord pull [In reply to] Can't Post

It is common for jumpers, new and experienced to look at the altimeter but not register what they saw. You are basically looking at it, but not reading it. Most people find reading the altitude out loud a huge help to altitude awareness.


Jerseywoman61  (Student)

Oct 22, 2013, 10:07 AM
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Re: [djmarvin] T2-Stumble with altimeter and missed rip cord pull [In reply to] Can't Post

djmarvin wrote:
It is common for jumpers, new and experienced to look at the altimeter but not register what they saw. You are basically looking at it, but not reading it. Most people find reading the altitude out loud a huge help to altitude awareness.

Ok. Thank you for this. I think this is something that may help. The instructor told me T3 jump has much less going on. Maybe because of that, I can actually prioritize the altimeter, for god's sake, and make myself focus on saying it out loud.

Thanks again.


kontiki  (A 69926)

Oct 22, 2013, 11:49 AM
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Re: [Jerseywoman61] T2-Stumble with altimeter and missed rip cord pull [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm currently at AFF Level 4 and had the same experience on jump #2. I was looking but not seeing. The next week after the jump I spent loads of time watching skydiving videos and purposefully looking for altimeters and reading out their elevations. I also spent a tremendous amount of time just visualizing jump #3 from exit to the first COA and so on, each time I practiced a maneuver visualizing checking the altimeter and taking the time to read it and have the elevation register. Now not that everything went to plan with the next jump, maintaining a heading was way harder than I thought, but I definitely had a ton more confidence in my ability to register what altitude I was at. I don't know if any of the visualization really helped or if it just gets a little easier each time, but I definitely felt much more at ease with this aspect.


GLIDEANGLE  (D 30292)

Oct 22, 2013, 2:42 PM
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Re: [Jerseywoman61] T2-Stumble with altimeter and missed rip cord pull [In reply to] Can't Post

You might find this relevant about bifocals.

http://www.dropzone.com/...post=4549469#4549469


shorehambeach  (B License)

Oct 23, 2013, 3:24 AM
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Re: [Jerseywoman61] T2-Stumble with altimeter and missed rip cord pull [In reply to] Can't Post

Jerseywoman,

Welcome to the sport and DZ.com :)

Stop giving yourself a hard time. Look at all the things that you did great on the dive Cool

Exited the plane
Got stable
Carried out your turns
Forward motion
Canopy check (i hope !)
Canopy control
Followed a landing pattern
Flared
Landed safely

All after being 12,000FT in the air :) Not a typical day at the office Tongue


Whats you've posted about beating yourself up over something is very common and so is the brain fog you get on your first jumps.

I never pulled on AFF L2 - luckily my instructor did or else we'd still be waiting 12 month later .... I had a lot of brain fog/sensory overload during AFF. It was almost embarrassing when - post each jump - the instructor would say "Ok, lets go through the jump from your perspective" and I genuinely could only remember 5 seconds of a 45 second ride ... Crazy

Remember:

1.You are not the only one. We all did it.(those that didn't are lying!)
2.This sport is a huge mind game
3.You did great
4.Yes you need to be more altitude aware and PULL
(Note - I am not an instructor)

If its any help - its my own experience and that of many people that I have observed in the short time I have been in the sport - the people that tend to struggle at the beginning with AFF (like me and you Angelic) become better skydivers.

Keep us posted on your progression.

Blue Skies.


PixieUK  (A License)

Oct 23, 2013, 5:01 AM
Post #8 of 10 (1328 views)
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Re: [Jerseywoman61] T2-Stumble with altimeter and missed rip cord pull [In reply to] Can't Post

Jerseywoman61 wrote:
I've actually done many IT searches about beginners failing to check their altimeters and then when checking, failing to even have it register in their brains, and I haven't turned up a whole lot. I can't possibly be the only one?
not-very-happy

As the others have said, sensory overload is normal. My AFF1 jump actually went very well, but I started doing my exercises when my awareness of what was in front of me went from 'blue' to 'blue plus something else'. That was literally the only perception I had, my eyes just couldn't process what I was seeing. It took a few jumps before I was aware of my surroundings immediately after exiting the plane and I was on AFF4 before I could distinguish much beyond 'horizon' to actually try and stick to a heading.

We were told to read the altimeter and then tell each instructor what it said (I had two instructors for AFF1, 2 and 3). They don't actually care about the numbers at that height, it's more that you can read the altimeter, register a number and then attempt to pass that information on (unless they're good at lip-reading, they're not going to know what you say anyway, lol).

I never had an issue with remembering to look at my altimeter, or pull my pilot chute, but I had to wait over a week between ground school and my first jump so had gone over the routine in my head (including all the actions for practice pulls etc) literally hundreds of times before I actually exited the plane for real so I had a lot of muscle memory to back me up. So just keep practising the jump routine over and over again, with all the full actions. Although if you haven't had ground school yet, I think you are beating yourself up unnecessarily. You said this was a T2 jump, right? So I'm unclear as to whether it was critical for you to pull, or just a practice 'nice to remember' thing, because if you haven't done ground school, presumably you haven't been through the whole 'jump plan' yet?

The only time I looked at my altimeter and didn't register it was on my AFF level 8 jump (hop and pop). The whole point was to get out, get stable and pull within 10 seconds so I didn't actually care what it said - I only found out in the plane on the way up that technically I was supposed to get stable, check my altitude, then pull. So I jumped, got stable, looked at my wrist and pulled and had absolutely no idea what the height was. I was far more focused on the 10 seconds thing so it just didn't register.

People all react differently to sensory overload and the instructors are expecting that - if they are happy for you to continue, then trust in their judgement. They won't let you progress until they think you are ready


Jerseywoman61  (Student)

Oct 23, 2013, 5:18 AM
Post #9 of 10 (1319 views)
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Re: [Jerseywoman61] T2-Stumble with altimeter and missed rip cord pull [In reply to] Can't Post

First, I have to thank everyone who responded. I feel somewhat better. I've gone over my next jump repeatedly since yesterday. T3 is this Sunday. Ground school was to be before Sunday, but a work emergency has made it where I can't do ground school until after T3.

I pulled on T1--he stuck the altimeter in my face at 5500 (told me it was going to be at 5500) and again, it didn't register, but I did pull. I was to go through the entire sequence on T2--but missed (hence this thread). I did do the canopy check and steering, and landed us on our feet (of course he guided us the entire way, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't assisting any other way though I can't see behind me, lol)--when I say "landed us on our feet" I mean we didn't fall, but we did have to kind of run a few steps pretty fast, Smile

So, I'm excited about T3 and I'm fairly confident I'll check the altimeter--hopefully it'll register this time.

not-as-unhappy-as-before


ssj4sadie  (Student)

Oct 25, 2013, 5:02 PM
Post #10 of 10 (894 views)
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Re: [Jerseywoman61] T2-Stumble with altimeter and missed rip cord pull [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm only on L3 so take what I say with a grain of salt (goes without saying), but here is how things have gone with me.

L1 - didn't register any altitude before wave off and pull. Pulled early 6k
L2 - still haven't registered altitude during COA. Wave off and pull at correct altitude.
L2 - (redone due to non-currency) was able to register and recall the first COA and turns. Locked on at 6k wave and pull at correct altitude.

I'm not posting to give advice but share my experience. I have found that studying the altimeter and sectioning it off has helped me correctly identify what altitude I am doing things at in the instance I can't read it (I to have some less than stellar eyes). Taking to my instructors, learning to calm myself, register, and recall altitudes will increase with each jump. They have stressed that ensuring I pull, pull on time while completing the dive flow, and recalling their directions are more important.



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