Sep 30, 2001, 7:23 PM
Post #1 of 23
This seemed like Brain Fart (tm) weekend for me.
Most were minor, like tripping over another jumper's lines in the packing area (felt like a total moron) and losing my cell phone.
But one really scared the heck out of me. My pulls have been getting lazier & lazier. On my second jump today I casually pulled & felt my pilot chute hit my foot. My immediate thought was "Oh great... now I'll probably wind up with a pilot chute in tow" but it opened fine.
Once I got under canopy I realized how much worse it could have been.... the bridle could have easily wrapped around my foot creating a nasty horsehoe-ish situation at low altitude.
Needless to say I chucked the next one with much more authority, but it still scared the bejesus out of me.
"Wear the grudge like a crown. Desperate to control. Unable to forgive. And we're sinking deeper."
Sometimes a close-ish call is exactly what we need to remind us how serious this sport is. I started getting more and more complacent about my pull altitude. It got to the point where I wasn't under canopy until 2 grand, which is also my decision altitude.
I opened in a slight spin once, at two grand and FREAKED!!! I realized that I needed to pull sooner to have enough time to make decisions about my canopy. I am back to throwing out between 3.5 and 3 grand.
Nothing major happened, just enough to remind me how serious this all can be.
You have officially been reminded to release at full arm's length. Now DO IT!!!
I had a somewhat similar experience this weekend... here I am with a month-old license and I'm getting complacent. I'm on my last dive of the day on saturday, a solo sit(attempt), and I belly out for the last two thousand feet or so, just to have time to deal with anything, because I'm not very stable in a sit yet. So I reach, and just as I start to pull the PC out of the pouch, I start to go over on my left side. What the hell was I thinking? I wasn't thinking at all, that's the problem. Anyway, as soon as I felt it happen, I remember yelling "holy SHIT" loudly, throwing the pilot chute very hard, and coming right back to a hard arch, and it ended up fine... it was just the beginnings of some instability due to lack of thought about what I was doing. But it was enough to scare me into being quite sure to think very much about what I'm doing. You don't necessarily get many warnings in this sport...
I wouldn't beat yourself up over it too much Zennie, you're alive & you've definitely learned something. I found out this weekend that uncurrency can cause the occasional brainfart, just as easily as being complacent. I did two really stupid things that could have ended up very badly this weekend (one very similar to what you had done), all because of bad decisions or simple stupidity. First, on my first jump back since I broke my leg, we had a long spot, and instead of opening high I pulled at about 3,000. My canopy normally opens consistently in about 500 - 700 ft, but for some reason sniveled out well over a 1,000 ft this time. So, that put me really low on the wrong side of a tree line, in low winds. I knew that I could make it over the major part of the trees to a little circular clearing, but I also knew that it was going to be close... I made it just fine & set the canopy down in a very tight spot with trees all around me, I simply should have landed out, there's a nice huge field on the side of the tree line that I started out on (bad decision). On my second jump Saturday, I pulled at about the same altitude, but for some reason I guess I thought I needed to give my pilot-chute a quick inspection before I released it.... I pulled the damn thing out in front of me (sheer stupidity), of course once it inflated it was pulled from my hand & wrapped around my right arm, it pulled me up into a standing position, whipped me around to my left, and took another wrap on my arm. I pointed my hand straight up above me, it unraveled from my arm, and the canopy opened about 180 deg off heading. I don't have any idea why I did this, I've never done anything like it in any of my previous jumps, the whole time I remember thinking horse-shoe, and when that thing unraveled from my arm I immediately put my hands on my handles waiting to see what I had to deal with.... luckily everything was fine! I made a few more jumps on Sunday & they went much much better I'm glad to say. The good thing is I'm alive & unscathed & learned two very important lessons, two which I actually already knew in theory, but had never truly been tested by it.
I've chalked this up to being uncurrent, but I can certainly see how being complacent can cause the same sort of problems. That's one good thing about jumping with Pam, we kind of have an unwritten pact that if the other gets too "Cocky" then the smart one gets to kick the other in the head & knock some sense back into him... or her!
Gee! Your stories remind me of some mistakes I made when I was a junior jumper. Every once in a while I would get lazy when tossing my pilotchute and it would slap me in the back of the helmet. One of those slaps would usually cure me of my laziness for another season.
My worst experience with lazy PC tossing occurred in the spring time, when I was not very current, wearing bulky gloves and several other excuses. I tossed my pilotchute and followed the then-current fashion of watching it inflate. My pilotchute went up about six feet and stopped! A hasty scan of the bridle revealed that the bridle was wrapped around my chest-mounted altimeter! I grabbed the bridle, tossed it a second time and quickly found myself hanging under my main at 1500 feet on the wrong side of the river.
That scare cured me of lazy pilotchute tosses forever!
billvon (D 16479)
Oct 1, 2001, 11:12 AM
Post #7 of 23
>Every once in a while I would get lazy when tossing my pilotchute and it >would slap me in the back of the helmet. >One of those slaps would usually cure me of my laziness for another season.
Pilotchutes are tricky beasts. I have a video of an AFF about five years ago where I am main side. The student pulled the ripcord, I saw the container open, and I turned to leave. I got about four feet away when his PC arched over, landed on my back, then reinflated and took off again. I felt it and turned around, but didn't see anything but a student with a now-inflating parachute and a reserve side JM looking at me with amazement on his face.
The longer I'm in the sport the more I think main spring loaded PC's are just dangerous. Unless you are doing military jumps where the benefits outweigh the risks. I'll take my throw out any day unless I'm strapped with 150 lbs of equipment.
"The sky resembles a back lit canopy...with holes punched through it"- Incubus Clay
I wouldn't say that spring loaded PCs are dangerous... at least not for students. All I know is that on my second hop & pop, seeing that PC go up cleanly by my side was a welcome sight after deploying on my back. Sure, I love the throw-out now, but I doubt it would have been as forgiving in that situation.
I just hate that they always launch unpredictably and you always have a P/C in tow until you check. My first FF Greg said the P/C bounced off my back about 5 times in the 1 or 2 seconds it took me to remember to check. Of course as soon as I turned my head right it caught air and opened right up.
"The sky resembles a back lit canopy...with holes punched through it"- Incubus Clay
riggerrob> Your stories remind me of some mistakes I made when I riggerrob> was a junior jumper.
Here's one from me (Michele probably already heard about it; since it happened early july this year at Perris):
I was doing my level VII AFF jump when I suddenly found myself on my back at pull time,which was 4,500 ft. Doing as I was tought, I pulled while still on my back ("at pull time you pull, regardless of body position"). However, I ended up giving the PC quite a short throw. This resulted in the PC and bag going up between my legs and I ended up being suspended upside down under the canopy, with both feet entangled between the risers. The latter caused the canopy to turn; other than that it looked fine. Because I had plenty of altitude, I tried to fix this situation before going for those two handles on my chest. Somehow I managed to "climb out" of the risers and bring it in for a stand-up landing :-)
"ended up being suspended upside down under the canopy, with both feet entangled between the risers."
You could consider yourself very lucky.... This summer at our DZ the exact same thing happened to a level VII AFF student. He found himself on his back at about 5,000ft, he regained stability, but in his wave off flipped back onto his back & started spinning, at this point he was at about 3,000ft he remembered that #1 rule & pulled while on his back. The pilot-chute went up between his legs & the canopy opened fairly quick, he was upside down durring deployment & the opening shock caused his legs to snap down towards his ears (like an upside down splits or something)... it split his pelvis like a wishbone. Seriously, he had about a six inch gap between each half of his pelvis, it tore his urethra, and God knows what else. The guy still flew his landing pattern & flared on landing to cushion his fall... he blacked out almost as soon as he hit the ground. We saw him this weekend, he was actually out of his wheelchair already... still can't jump, but at least he's up walking already.
it's amazing to think what all kinds of strange situations can arise, and I certainly think this one was definitely one for those infamous record books.
i am at a period where im able to jump a few days a week. Today was the third day in a row for me. A new record high. So i get manifested for my first jump, a coach jump with monkey claw. Im a bit weirded out but i cant figure out why. Maybe its because i packed the rig the day before and am jumping it the next day (im on the demo program so at the end of every day gear normally gets disconnected and rigger rolled). This just isnt normal for me. I remember that i keep jumping different containers.. Did i check the reserve data card in this one? I cant remember so i pull it out, just in case i need that reserve i know what im hanging under. k. good enough. I get on the plane . Again, the ride is weird. Ive been a bit more anxious lately. Its like im suddenly developing a Plane deamon or something. I dont know. Exits okay, im a bit stiff. We continue with the skydive and i find myself on my back at 6 grand, not a problem. Im learning to sit fly, ive found myself on my back numerous occasions :) Since breakoff is planned for 5 grand and im on my back at 6 grand we end the skydive, its only a few seconds early.. So we turn away and begin to track. I count to five, check airspace/wave off and dump (higher than i have been lately). I look up and the right side of my canopy is picture perfect. The left side has a line over on the second cell. ARGG!!!! I start a medium speed spiral.. I look right, grab right, look up as im about to peel one more time to see the line over as its clearing itself. im hanging under a good canopy, I cant believe it cleared itself! So i grab my toggles and do a controlability check just in case somethings damaged. I spent the rest of the C.R. yelling in joy. point in case, I felt dammed low to the ground and i was actually at 3,800 feet. Its the thought of another freefall and seeing how much lower than normal you are.... shuddder. SO what did i learn? I want to be deploying at 4,000 feet, not ending a track. sometimes that Spectre im flying can really snivel. Next coach jump were breaking off a little bit higher...Also, if something feels odd it just might be because it is. After i landed i packed for myself again, but this time i was pretty carefull and attentative. I analized THAT pack job.. but i realized that sometimes things just happen. I didnt do anything different than i normally do when i pack for myself. So i chalked it up to "shit happens" and am just more attentative to those damned D lines that are just out of reach.
im glad that i went into the harness this weekend for some practice cutaways and reserve deployments...and im glad that i had this close call, its gives me encouragement that when its for real i can handle it. Im sure ill be back in the classroom, practicing cutting away and deploying my reserve Isnt skydiving grand!
"i can not attest to what i did, just what i remember...." ~me, after one too many
I ended up being suspended upside down under the canopy, with both feet entangled between the risers.
Damn, dude, I've tried to get myself hanging upside down under canopy and haven't been able to....of course, I'm not trying to get there until AFTER I'm under a good canopy...but I haven't been able to do it..
I've got my feet to touch the slider once but that was on a cross country jump where I was back at the DZ by 8000 feet I got board under canopy so i stalled and held it for a while, tried hand stands and a buch of other stupid things. Looking back, it was'nt my smartest skydive ever..... I've never tried to do it since then.
Be safe, be smooth, be fast..... and most importantly.... be phree
I wanted to hang upside down from the risers of my canopy and dock on somebody's canopy, and climb down the lines head first.....or let them dock on me, slide down my lines, lock legs, and do a downplane..
Yea, after opening I used to swing my feet up in to the risers and hang upside down in my harness. I quit that after almost landing out on a demo and seeing my reserve ripcord hanging loose a couple of times. The last thing I need is my reserve deploying while I'm flipped half-way through the main risers!