Nov 11, 2003, 10:12 PM
Post #1 of 13
First chop anxiety?
Well it seems that the firsts in skydiving are always the most feared, and most fun. I was on my 252nd jump and finally had to chop. Like many in these forums, I have learned alot from posts and owe at least a good one myself. I was on a ff, that was normal. Tracked away, cleared the area, deployed and looked up to see the slider half way up, left three end cells closed. This sometimes happens with the Sabre 2-210 I jump, and usually resolves itself after a 360 turn or a riser pull. I have it loaded at 1.25, nothing extreme. I pulled the risers and soon realized it would not be that simple, as the canopy began to twist up. I don't think that I really decided what type of malfunction I was experiencing, just understood that it was a bad situation getting worse. I remember making the decision that this was going to be the first main to come down separate of my rig. I reached the cutaway handle with both hands, and fell away surprisingly easy. Adrenaline? Who knows. The reserve pulled just as easy, and it was over. Nice reserve over my head. I practice cutting away and deploying the reserve with both hands. I feel that this lessens the chances of an out of sequence cut away. I'm sure some disagree. Boy a rig is comfortable with no chutes in it and light too! I landed near the dz close to my main and began looking for my main and freebag. Stefan, one of the coaches at Skydive Arizona, picked me up in the van and helped me look for all the parts. Found the main, with one toggle fired. Got the stuff together and back to the hanger, where I was greeted by the same enthusiastic friendliness that I have come to enjoy around Skydive Arizona. It seems that people at that dz just have a love of skydiving and people that they just love to share. I have made many nice aquaintances and some good friends. There are so many world class skydivers on one load that it really blows your mind. It's cool to hang out and b.s. with people and then see them in a magazine the next day. I never get the "don't you know who I am" stuff. Almost always realizing individuals accomplishments only after a day of jumping followed by beers at the bar. But I digress. If I had to give my impressions of the first cut away: 1. Practice your emergency procedures often. I do, and when it was time my hands knew where to go quickly. 2. Take kindly the wisdom of years and experience in the sport. My coach Tim Straus, a fantastic skydiver and canopy pilot is always giving me tidbits of info that develop me over time. Like he says "Baby steps". Omar Alhegelan, talked to me after the chop. "What do you remember?" "What do you think you would have done different?" 3. Decide a hard deck. Know when your going to make a go no go decision. You don't have to know whats wrong with it before you chop it. In talking to more experienced jumpers, I realized that they may have tried other things before the cutaway, but for me I was done with it. It was not a bad experience, actually enlightening and fun. I feel like a better skydiver and alot safer now that I know what it feels like. Thanks to Margy at Square 2, for getting me on the next load, and stressing the importance of getting back up.
Nice story about your first reserve ride Paul. As an Instructor, we like to hear what you remember from what was we teach to you during your FJC, and what emergency procegers you retain through your fun jumps. From jump 1 on, remember to always practice in case of an emergency for EVERY JUMP. You can always analyze what you could have did differently to maybe save that main, but the bottom line is "your alive" and walking away for the jump. It's also great that you got back up in the air soon after...... Now, go buy your rigger a bottle!
with my 1st reserve ride, made same experience: nothing special, no thrill, didn't panic at all, it was around jump no, 50 or so.. just discovered: something is wrong, serÝously, will not explain details, decided to cut away and did.. quickly was under a smooth inflated white canopy, no sensation, landed in a field on my a**, it was ok, no questions, no insisting in: why did you this, and not that.. it was simply like that. my decision for my life.
after, no nightmares, never. but, a special feeling of beeing responsible in the air, made my experience on that, could trust in my reactions.. (this does not mean, i always can trust in myself!!)
after that, several times friends were asking me if i was scared, nervous... nothing at all! you just act as it's got to be, thats all, and land...
i just would sign your report... well made christel
After my mal on jump 25, I had to wait almost a week before my next jump...cut-away was on the sunset load. Didn't bother me at all, however I did do just a very conservative hop n' pop the first jump after, just to release any pent-up anxiety that I might be harboring in the back of my mind.
I've read the other posts here and I can't help but feel exactly the same. There was NO panic at all; even with so few jumps. I just looked at the main, tried to clear the problem and couldn't, & said to myself "That canopy has got to go." and went for my reserve (renting a student rig; just one handle.) I felt the instant the main released, and right away there was that beautiful orange canopy right over head...oh, and BTW, orange is NOW my favorite color . And yes I did buy the rigger a bottle
No freaking out, no terror. Just a nice quiet ride down...I was under the reserve above 2,000 ft and landed right near the X. I noticed how much zippier the reserve was, and now I want to start jumping those! -As a main, of course...don't want to start people thinkin' I'm trying to get a reserve ride out of this gear
I've been back out a couple of times. Six to eight jumps each time. It feels pretty much the same, I am just more cautious of altitude, body position etc. We all know great skydivers, great skydivers come with many jumps. If you are going to do alot of jumps it will happen, eventually. It really does make you measure yourself against more experienced jumpers and ponder if you are cut from the same cloth. If there is no reason (read fear) to stop, why stop? After the first cutaway, you are in no more danger than you are now, just more prepared. It makes me wonder why a cutaway, is not part of the A license requirements.
I remember making the decision that this was going to be the first main to come down separate of my rig.
Making that decision is relatively easy now.
I'll tell you what can give you anxiety regarding a chop:
Wondering if you are more likely to get hurt landing your tiny hi-porosity round reserve (with no diaper/bag/deployment device of any kind) than the partial malfunction you are looking at.
Or wishing you hadn't volunteered to do a demo at 6000 AGL with car sized boulders everywhere except the tiny parking lot landing area while you try to get your main to open for 2000 feet with the same crappy round reserve on your back (sure glad I pulled high on that one).
I still haven't had a reserve ride yet but my repack was due so i pulled out my reserve only to find out it's bright yellow and not white like i've always thought. Would have been a bit of a shock if the first time I saw it was after a mal. Its not yellow - it YELLOWWWWW!