Nov 15, 2003, 11:42 AM
Post #1 of 8
Heres the story of my Aff6 and my downwind landing.
Well I got out there at 9am and just sat around for a little bit and then talked to my instructor about jumping. So I got my ticket and went looking for a rig, but its reserve is getting repacked. (aff student went fetal and pulled reserve) but he lost the cutaway handle so I had to wait until someone went and got one. So a little bit later I finally get on the plane. Just a tad nervous but doing alright. First group goes, my instructor checked the spot and Check in, ready, set, go... I watched the plane leave and my instructor dive out (YAY! best exit yet!)... Check altitude, above 12,000' I look up and my instructor does a flip with his hands, and I remember "Oh yeah" so I do a backloop and get stable. My instructor points to the east, so I turn about 90degrees and track perpendicular to the flight line.1thousand 2thousand 3thousand 4thousand arch. WhoHooo!! 180degree turn. and track west. I really held this one and looked to my right and saw my instructor like 3-4 feet away. I arched and we were at around 7,000' so I just concentrated on being stable. 5,000' pull, So I'm sitting in my holding area playing around some, at 1,500' I start getting towards my pattern, I look down and see the arrow pointing south, and I have a brain fart and only concentrate on the arrow which points in the direction your supposed to land, and I thought it meant thats the direction of the wind. I do some S turns because I am covering a ton of ground, I look over by manifest and see 3-4 instructors on the ground watching me (is this a good thing? I thought) anyway too late now. Flare, flare, Wow the grounds still screaming underneath me, Flare! my left foot hit, and I tried to run it out but the legstraps were still a little tight, and I was moving pretty good, Bam! I just did like a mini PLF got up and I looked around and I was about 100' from the boarding area, (no planes around) and not a minute after I get down one of the organisers was talking to me. So I explained my brain fart and he said well your instructor will talk to you. Nothing happend, so it was all OK, but from now on I'm reading the damn wind socks.
*ps if all the instructors on the ground are watching you land, your probably doing something wrong.
I almost wish everyone did this at least once. Now you know you don't have to make a low turn to get into the wind when your just to low to do it. You can survive and rather well I might add a down wind landing. Bad job, great experience! Hey we all brain fart once in awhile. Glad you made out ok.
Shit happens. It happened to me at the WFFC in 2000. I only had like 70 jumps, but the reason for the error was because I read the Tetrahedron wrong. Anyway, I got bitched at right after landing by a convention official. It was fun though, everyone was watching me for the time being and I didn't eat it. I learned, and that mistake has helped me since then on landings that were faster than expected.
Everybody at my DZ watched me do a downwinder on my AFF 6 as well. I was supposed to still be on a radio for landing assistance, but the radio malfunctioned, and I went into panic mode. I decided the best thing to do (which actually turned out to be the worst) was to use the exact landing pattern my instructor and I had set up before getting on the plane. Well, the wind had shifted 180 degrees somewhere in there, and my pattern sent me downwind.
So . . . then I was headed towards an airplane hangar (off the landing area), and I did a 90 degree turn at about 50 feet. My feet never even touched the ground when I landed, I just went PLUNK! down onto my side. That was the scariest thing I have ever experienced in my life, but all I had were a couple of scrapes on my knuckles. One person told me it looked like I took off with a motor on my back, combining the downwinder with a low turn.
Anyway, chalk it up to say that you and I both learned a lesson that could have been much harder. We got off easy, and I know that I won't ever forget that. I am vigilant about paying attention to the wind direction and height of my turns. Don't be too hard on yourself.
if all the instructors on the ground are watching you land, your probably doing something wrong.
LOL, so true. I don't remember what level but I had to do a down wind. I learned from it and now know a bit of what to expect on one if I ever have to again (hope not). At the very least it gives the instructors something to watch