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SimonOrtega

New plane jumper

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Hey all,
Name's Simon, I got my A-license a week ago.

Some background: I'm a mine engineer, I currently work at an underground gold mine in Alaska. I'm also a student pilot and hope to finish my private pilots license soon.
While traveling through Palmer in July this summer I did a tandem jump. Was terrified of the idea of skydiving but thought I'd give it a shot (for comedies sake!). Absolutely loved it and decided I needed to jump again and solo as soon as possible.

Used all my vacation days to take 2-1/2 weeks off from work and flew 3000 miles from Alaska to Texas. Did the A-license in a week STP course at Skydive Spaceland in Rosharon.
Weather was good and the instructors were excellent. Had the time of my life and got licensed in just over a week.

Now I'm back home in Alaska and looking for fellow skydivers in the region. Trying to gameplan the best way to stay current and keep learning in an area with no local dropzones (Juneau). I'll work skydiving into future vacations for sure. If you have any advice on good DZs in the Pacific Northwest let me know.

To wrap up the ramble, I'm here to meet other skydivers and keep on learning. In particular I've got plenty of gear questions coming up as I'm shopping for my first rig now. Look forward to getting to know you folks!

-Simon

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Ooh. You should pop over to the Bonfire and give Promise5 a holler.

Skydive Arizona in Eloy is pretty nice to visit in the winter. You pretty much have an excuse to go running around the world jumping out of planes now.

Doesn't pretty much everyone fly up there? Maybe you could talk a private pilot into letting you jump out of his plane. Your spotting skills will get a crazy workout doing that, but it could be fun. They just need to file a NOTAM with the FAA and find a suitable landing area for you.
I'm trying to teach myself how to set things on fire with my mind. Hey... is it hot in here?

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I've heard great things about Skydive Arizona. And it looks like they have a DC3, whoa! The winters get depressing up here so that's probably where I'll go for a week or two this winter.

And yeah, lots of friends and family fly (getting there myself). I recently bought an old 1970's Piper PA-28 Cherokee but it's a low wing.
My brother flies a Cessna 140 and my cousin flies a J3 Cub, both too small to comfortably fit in with a rig or safely exit from I'd imagine.

Probably look for a pilot with a larger aircraft like a Cessna 182 or 206?
I know a bit about NOTAMS from the piloting side but I'd have to look into filling one out for a skydive. Jumping without a DZ could be fun and a good way to stay current. If I can find a few local skydivers to share rides up with that make it even better.
Thanks for the ideas!

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Yeah, I think 182s are pretty popular starter planes for dropzones. Mile Hi 1 is a 206b -- you need the turbine at these higher altitudes, and it can still only go to 9 grand AGL. It fits 6 uncomfortably with all the seats except the pilot's removed.

Winter gets pretty depressing in Colorado, too, although we had enough 70 degree days during it that I was able to do a high pull in December. It was only a technical high pull though -- celing was about 8 grand. I'm plotting to visit Eloy this winter too, either around Christmas or early February.
I'm trying to teach myself how to set things on fire with my mind. Hey... is it hot in here?

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Using a 500 mile radius turns up 0 dropzones, gotta love Alaska :(

But just outside 500 miles (~550) is the DZ in Palmer, Alaska Skydive Center. That's probably were I'll go whenever I visit Anchorage. But they have a very short season (May to September generally I think).

Outside of Alaska, I have friends I can stay with in Seattle and Portland. Any advice on good DZ's to visit near those cities? I've heard good things about Skydive Snohomish (for Seattle) and Skydive Oregon (for Portland).

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Outside of Alaska, I have friends I can stay with in Seattle and Portland. Any advice on good DZ's to visit near those cities? I've heard good things about Skydive Snohomish (for Seattle) and Skydive Oregon (for Portland).



Those are good choices. Also check-out Skydive Kapowsin.
She is Da Man, and you better not mess with Da Man,
because she will lay some keepdown on you faster than, well, really fast. ~Billvon

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Yeah, I could definitely see that. I'd want to get more spotting experience and try exits from smaller aircraft (via strut/step) before I jumped with friends here in Southeast. I've only jumped once from a 206, rest have been Otter/Caravan/Skyvan.
I'll plan on building experience on trips to DZs until that point. Might take a year or so but I'm in no rush B|

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Hi Simon. Thanks for the reply. I was actually referring to OFF Drop Zone landings. So I should have said, if you could wait until you have 200 "landings" before venturing into off drop zone landings. Things to consider .... wind direction, wind speed, rolling terrain ( which you can not evaluate from the air, even at a low altitude ), obstacles, rotors, emergency help if you need it. These are just considerations. Have fun getting there. Be Safe.:)
Life is short ... jump often.

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skymama

Quote

Outside of Alaska, I have friends I can stay with in Seattle and Portland. Any advice on good DZ's to visit near those cities? I've heard good things about Skydive Snohomish (for Seattle) and Skydive Oregon (for Portland).



Those are good choices. Also check-out Skydive Kapowsin.



Yup around here... Kapow at Shelton WA is the place to be... great people there and a schweet Otter... but Winter here in the Pacific NorthWET.. is still a challenge to get full altitude... but its a great place for some hop and pops in winter under the clouds and upping your game with your canopy.

We have a few other smaller DZ's in the Seattle area but each of them have their own special "issues".

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