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Prepping for coach jumps with fun jumps? Also a downsizing question..

 


Bethaney  (A License)

Oct 29, 2013, 2:54 PM
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Prepping for coach jumps with fun jumps? Also a downsizing question.. Can't Post

Woohoo! With only one repeat on L4, and a month after I started, I'm an AFF graduate! Have done a few fun jumps since then and my main focus has been to practice tracking since it was my weakest point during AFF and I feel its an extremely important (and fun!) skill to know. After a couple tries during my fun jumps, my most recent jump (Sunday evening) I was able to do a 90 degree turn and then track and hold straight with no wobbles for a solid 9 seconds (1 thousand, 2 thousand..)! It may sound silly but I was really excited about it. After I pulled I watched the most unbelievable sunset of my life under canopy. I'm curious as to what your advice would be to practice during my fun jumps to get me ready for coach jumps. I did a couple of silly exits for fun and have since been practicing my dive exit which I actually really enjoy but I am not sure how its looking since I don't have anyone with me. Haha. Anything I can practice during freefall to get me more prepared for coach jumps?

Also, I jumped 230's my entire AFF and first 2 fun jumps. On Sunday there were no 230's available due to how busy the DZ was and one of my instructors told me I could jump a 210. I know its not that much of a difference and they said they wouldn't put me in it if they didn't feel confident that I would be fine. I actually enjoyed the 210 much more than the 230, except the landing! I did practice flares up high to get the feel but as soon as I was coming in to my final approach for landing, it was much more difficult to control for some reason under a 210. My landings weren't terrible, no PLFs or anything, flared at the right time and landed on my feet. But they just weren't as smooth as my 230 landings. Is this just because I'm new and need practice or is there something I can do to control my chute better upon final approach? Thanks in advance!


GLIDEANGLE  (D 30292)

Oct 29, 2013, 4:19 PM
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Re: [Bethaney] Prepping for coach jumps with fun jumps? Also a downsizing question.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I strongly suggest that you simply do the coach jumps without "preparing". One of the key elements of the coach jumps is that you get additional supervision. That supervision can prevent dangerous things such as a novice tracking for 9 seconds. Depending on the direction you were headed, you may have tracked into the airspace of other groups. This can result in VERY dangerous collisions.


Bethaney  (A License)

Oct 29, 2013, 4:59 PM
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Re: [GLIDEANGLE] Prepping for coach jumps with fun jumps? Also a downsizing question.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I do take that into much consideration. I was the first to exit after a group of experienced jumpers, all of us in the plane discussed before boarding what our intentions were, they knew I was practicing tracking before we loaded. One of the things I try to be most mindful of is my personal air space and those who jumped before me. They had all exited with the intent of a 9-way track jump with a much lower pull alt. than what I pull at. I spotted with an instructor before exiting to make sure there would be plenty of air space between myself and said group. But thank you for the response I do appreciate it. Its interesting to me that you suggest no prep. Most of my instructors strongly encouraged practicing dive exits and tracking because they are things I will need to know for the future. They are extremely mindful of who jumps before and after who, very thorough with spotting and very vocal about everyone's intended pull altitude. The most important part of skydiving to me at this point (since I'm so new) is safety. So if you feel that a "novice 9 second track" is dangerous, what would you suggest I be doing on my "fun jumps" or c8's?


Premier uhuru10  (B 39655)

Oct 29, 2013, 7:10 PM
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Re: [Bethaney] Prepping for coach jumps with fun jumps? Also a downsizing question.. [In reply to] Can't Post

For my post-AFF, pre-A license period, I didn't spend many jumps "solo". Primarily it is the supervision aspect, but also that you don't know how 'good' that turn was or how 'on heading' the track was.

I did a solo right after I graduated AFF to get that feel of having COMPLETE responsibility for my safety, but my next 5 were coach jumps. Those jumps had specific goals and skill progressions that made me feel like I was getting better and made me more comfortable with others in the air.

After those coach jumps, I did a few on my own to practice the new skills and also to make those fine adjustments that only another EXPERIENCED person can observe and give knowledgeable feedback. Only 6 jumps were 'self-work', then I did 4 more coach jumps to put everything together. At that point I was close to my A-license, so I worked on those items that are on me (e.g. accurate landings).

Spend your money and time wisely, but after all it is your money and my (novice) advice is free.


Divalent  (C 40494)

Oct 30, 2013, 12:17 PM
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Re: [Bethaney] Prepping for coach jumps with fun jumps? Also a downsizing question.. [In reply to] Can't Post

A good exit to practice when you solo (or even if you are on a coached jump, if the exit is not essential to the rest of the dive plan) is the one you will have to do on your hop and pop.

Practice exiting by jumping out the door facing into the relative wind with your head up (so you keep an eye on the plane at all times), and then doing a practice touch to your PC. It's a useful emergency skill you will need if you ever have to exit a plane that has mechanical issues while low, and (of course) you'll need it to pass your hop and pop.

If you can master that exit, you will have no trouble with your hop and pop. Otherwise, you will be like half the students I see doing their first hop and pop: stumbling out the door like a drunken sailor and frantically deploying while unstable.

BTW, if you are planning to do a solo, look over the A-card and see what things you might be able to get checked off on in the canopy category: those things you normally are doing on your own (with advice from an instructor on how to do).


GLIDEANGLE  (D 30292)

Oct 30, 2013, 1:45 PM
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Re: [Divalent] Prepping for coach jumps with fun jumps? Also a downsizing question.. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Practice exiting by jumping out the door facing into the relative wind with your head up (so you keep an eye on the plane at all times), and then doing a practice touch to your PC. It's a useful emergency skill you will need if you ever have to exit a plane that has mechanical issues while low, and (of course) you'll need it to pass your hop and pop.

It is also a key skill for CReW! Come fondle some nylon!!!


ChrisD  (No License)

Oct 31, 2013, 8:31 AM
Post #7 of 11 (1065 views)
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Re: [Bethaney] Prepping for coach jumps with fun jumps? Also a downsizing question.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Go back to the SIM and re-read what it says about "smaller Canopy's." Something about zippierier or something. We want you to learn about a lot of stuff and different canopies is one of those things as well. But try not to get confused into thinking that downsizing to a postage stamp and a wing loading of 2.0 is a good thing.

IMO downsizing by many saying you should enjoy going from a 230 to a 210 sets up a pattern with many that downsizing is the way to go, and to continue to downsize because this is something that was condoned and encouraged as a student.

Once you start to approach wing loadings of 1.0 (We can argue about this.) You should start to have hundreds of jumps. And for those that are contemplating wing loadings of 1.1 and greater we should have perhaps more than hundreds of jumps.

But for wing loading for students that have around 10's of jumps going back and forth from 0.8 to 0.75 etc should be a learning experience and you have the benifite of all of those on the ground watching your landings as your coaches should be doing. I suspect by the limited amount of fun stuff you have shared is that you have discovered the necessity of flaring for real with this downsize. This is the point where flaring under those tents, which is why your under those in the first place, is that you can literally hit the ground without flaring, not going to be pretty, but you will walk away. Now with a slightly higher wing loading, still very very safe in comparison to 1.0 wingloading you start to feel the effects of proper timing or lack therofeee...

You will get it, it is an easy skill to master, have fun and try not to think about it too much. When you have 40 jumps you will look back upon all of this very differently!! SmileSmile

C

By the way, if your paying for a coached jump, I expect your coaches to be landing with you and watching your landings up close, NOT from a separate landing area, like I see at so many DZ's.

Again it is such a pleasure to read about your progress and experiences....


NickyCal  (B 40477)

Nov 1, 2013, 9:11 AM
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Re: Prepping for coach jumps with fun jumps? Also a downsizing question.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't have any practical help to offer, but this thread is *exactly* where I stand right now as well. On both points.

I've had three jumps beyond my AFF now, all of them just "fun" jumps with no instruction (still trying to work out the coaching situation for my floaty self). My initial goal is the A license and attainment of the skills required to get there. I'm not really enjoying these solo trips, though of course I love the jump, but I just feel like I went from learning and advancing with every single jump during AFF to sort of being left stranded in this in-between student status. It is definitely very self-directed at this point, but when you've only got 11 jumps, its hard to know where to direct myself! Unsure

As for downsizing, I've been jumping a 190, but just purchased a great deal used rig at my DZ (with much advice/input form my instructors and its a perfect fit for my smaller frame which has been an issue since day one with the student gear) that has a 170 in it. Obviously, I'm not jumping it yet, but was hoping maybe by jump 20 or so that I'd be good to go. I calculate that this will put my wing loading in around .85, so I'm reasonably confident that it will be a good first rig.

Anyway, I realize that I offered no advice here, but I wanted to say "hello" from another student who is in a very similar place.


mrubin  (C License)

Nov 1, 2013, 9:23 AM
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Re: [NickyCal] Prepping for coach jumps with fun jumps? Also a downsizing question.. [In reply to] Can't Post

NickyCal wrote:
I'm not really enjoying these solo trips, though of course I love the jump, but I just feel like I went from learning and advancing with every single jump during AFF to sort of being left stranded in this in-between student status. It is definitely very self-directed at this point, but when you've only got 11 jumps, its hard to know where to direct myself! Unsure

Talk to the instructors and coaches at your dz about this. Start doing some of your coach jumps. And on the jumps where you do go solo, talk to an instructor first and come up with a dive plan. Then debrief them on how it went afterwards. You won't get the same feedback as having a coach in the air with you, but it helps you learn to remember the details of the whole skydive.


ChrisD  (No License)

Nov 1, 2013, 10:22 AM
Post #10 of 11 (872 views)
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Re: [NickyCal] Prepping for coach jumps with fun jumps? Also a downsizing question.. [In reply to] Can't Post

NickyCal wrote:
I don't have any practical help to offer, but this thread is *exactly* where I stand right now as well. On both points.

I've had three jumps beyond my AFF now, all of them just "fun" jumps with no instruction (still trying to work out the coaching situation for my floaty self). My initial goal is the A license and attainment of the skills required to get there. I'm not really enjoying these solo trips, though of course I love the jump, but I just feel like I went from learning and advancing with every single jump during AFF to sort of being left stranded in this in-between student status. It is definitely very self-directed at this point, but when you've only got 11 jumps, its hard to know where to direct myself! Unsure

As for downsizing, I've been jumping a 190, but just purchased a great deal used rig at my DZ (with much advice/input form my instructors and its a perfect fit for my smaller frame which has been an issue since day one with the student gear) that has a 170 in it. Obviously, I'm not jumping it yet, but was hoping maybe by jump 20 or so that I'd be good to go. I calculate that this will put my wing loading in around .85, so I'm reasonably confident that it will be a good first rig.

Anyway, I realize that I offered no advice here, but I wanted to say "hello" from another student who is in a very similar place.

I feel for ya, this is a very common observation pre A lic status.

Ask around and see if their are any coach rated jumpers just hanging and will jump with you. This is a difficult thing to ask for some times because many of the jumpers you have been jumping with are expecting some sort of compensation. But there are fun jumpers out there with this rating that are willing to help. Wink And enjoy doing this for the fun of it without looking like they want 100 bucks for the privilege of jumping with you!

You go from an rather intense learning environment to nothing in one jump this is very disorienting.
And many, rightly so, (To a point.) don't hesitate to point out your lack of experience. This can be a tough time for many, we actually loose many students during this period. There is a joy to be had by being persistent....and sadly to say many fun jumpers have long forgotten what it was like for them. This is also a time when you go from being someone else's responsibility, in a sense, to learning to be responsible for your own actions, this is a big part of how others protect themselves cause a lot of the things we do in jumping, I or anyone else can't help you if something less than desirable happens. This is just psychology and people it's not you...so learn to be the best you can be.

You have taken a first step by basically stating that your solos are (whatever) that tells me you have too much time on your hands and we are into the area of I don't know what I don't know, if that makes any sense. Fill your dives with a full plate: 2 alternating 360 turns and end exactly on heading. Pick a distant land mark for this. Try a barrel roll on heading, up high, see how much altitude that took, do some more rigorous turns, check your altitude, and try to fill up your plate with too much stuff to do and still be on your altitude's exactly. Or whatever works for you....

I would suggest you practice some skills and then practice some more. Have a plan and stick to the plan. Part of this could be learning some topic that in the past hasn't interested you or has seemed out of reach. You can learn more about packing and discover the 100 or so different opinions and methods to pack while at the DZ.

Personally I recommend working on your canopy skills and trying to better your best accuracy spot to date. This can in itself be very challenging. Especially if you have a light wind day and can vary your pattern direction. It is surprising how quickly we learn local landmarks and then that all goes to shit when we travel....

These solo jumps are a time when you can solidify and work. Sometimes work is just that....so set goals and work on stuff....Smile

C

Keep up the good works and your not alone here. There might be a better way, I'm sure there is, but till then be proactive and keep enjoying the view!


(This post was edited by ChrisD on Nov 1, 2013, 10:36 AM)


Divalent  (C 40494)

Nov 1, 2013, 12:14 PM
Post #11 of 11 (827 views)
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Re: [NickyCal] Prepping for coach jumps with fun jumps? Also a downsizing question.. [In reply to] Can't Post

NickyCal wrote:
I'm not really enjoying these solo trips, though of course I love the jump, but I just feel like I went from learning and advancing with every single jump during AFF to sort of being left stranded in this in-between student status. It is definitely very self-directed at this point, but when you've only got 11 jumps, its hard to know where to direct myself! Unsure

Note: I'm not an instructor!
When I was in my post-AFF pre-lic stage I tried to have a plan for every solo jump: an exit plan, something to work on in free fall, and something to work on under canopy. Talk to an instructor to get ideas, but here are some suggestions:

1. Exits - have a plan for how you want it to go (and then see if it does). Typically on a diving exit you intend to be oriented back up jump run, chasing after the folks that just exited. Whereas on a poised exit, or your hop-n-pop exit, you generally want to be facing forward in the direction the plane is going.
- practice your hop-n-pop exit (see my post above)
- diving exits: try to exit in a dive without flipping/tumbling, as well as keeping the heading you intended.
- floating exit: again, try exit with complete stability as you watch the plane fly on.

2. In free fall:
- getting big to slow down ** (even to the point of a somewhat reversed arch)
- getting very small to speed up.
- turns using just your legs, and then with both legs and arms.
- restoring stability after flips and rolls.
- tracking technique. (be careful when intending to track so that you don't head up or down jump run)

3. Under canopy: Check the A-card for tasks you need to master. (And I'd suggest getting real comfortable with rear riser turns and with flat turns once you got all the A-card items checked off.)

I like to think of it as analogous to learning to be comfortable in a swimming pool, or on a bicycle. When first learning those activities, it's not a familiar environment, you have to consciously think about what you need to do, and you need to learn where the limits are. And you need to learn that if you get unstable, you are confident in your ability to recover yourself, and to get to the point where doing so is an intuitive thing, not something you have to think through.

The prior poster had good advice, which is to communicate with an instructor before and after when possible.

** note: even though you may fall slower than most, there may be times where you are below the formation and need to get back up (because someone exited late, you overshot on a dive down, funnel on an exit, etc). So don't assume that's a skill you won't need.



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