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selwynj

One eye skydiving

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my buddy Bill (fun jumper at Hollister) had the following advice:

One eyed skydivers huh? Nothing but trouble they are. ;-) I once met another diabetic who had lost his eye and was a skydiver. If they have been without vision for sometime they have already learned a lot of the valuable lessons. The toughest for me was learning how to land. Or rather, re learning. I started skydiving with two eyes then had to adjust. I think the best advice, to the one eyed and two, is remember how to PLF.....

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First regarding contacts and limited or no vision in one eye... be careful!! Contacts inherently have risk associated with them, corneal ulcer, corneal abrasion, permanent vision loss, so take them seriously.



As a skydiver with monocular vision for the past 16 years I can't emphasis the importance of this enough. I always wear polycarbonate lenses on my glasses and goggles too (prescription).

I also avoid the temptation of Lasix surgery, as nice as it might be. Risk of a botched procedure on my one remaining eye....plus losing the protection that glasses afford isn't worth the risk. And yes, since losing my left eye I've hit that side repeatedly (and occasionally my right side too) when not judging (or seeing) an object correctly the first time (non-skydiving related).

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ONLY Polycarbonate goggles should be used for jumping just for safety reasons, they will prevent an eye injury where most other materials will not.



Ditto.

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Congenital or long term vision loss in one eye isn't a big deal as you've learned to compensate for it in a million different ways that folks with binocular vision can't even begin to understand.



To those,...."walk" a mile in our shoes and perhaps then you'll have a small glimpse. I still applaud billvon for taking the time one day at the DZ to do so himself.

ltdiver

Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon

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To those,...."walk" a mile in our shoes and perhaps then you'll have a small glimpse. I still applaud billvon for taking the time one day at the DZ to do so himself.



I use simulators for family members of my low vision/legally blind patients. They are always intregued by doing it, but at the end, I always remind them that they have the ability to remove the simulator and see normally again, which is very different functionally and psychologically for those who are like that permanently.

I love it that you are willing to discuss your blind eye and encourage others to try to walk in your shoes for a while. It teaches a lot to other people, far more than trying to hide it would do.

Jen

Do or do not, there is no try -Yoda

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Just thought I'd add my two-bits to this discussion. I lost the vision in my left eye in 2001 due to a retinal detachment which failed to re-attach, followed by corneal scarring, corneal perforation, corneal transplant which failed after further retinal surgery was tried, resulting in bleeding under the new cornea making it opaque so that I get next to no light transmission through my left eye. Why the long intro? I started sky-diving three years after and now have 109 jumps in just over a year. I also tend to flare a bit high, but after reading the other responses, I know why! On low wind days, I tend to land crosswind because I have spectacular PLF landings in very low wind approaches. I weigh 190 and jump a PD210, so my loading is 1:1. I am one coach jump form my RW endorsement for my A CoP, and looking forward to doing two-ways. I tend to land well away from the congested landing areas because other divers look closer than they really are. Being pretty much blind in my left eye makes for interesting adaptations in checking my altimeter. If I didn't start to do a slow 360°, I would backslide, because I would tend to lift my upper body so that I didn't have to turn my head as much. I now fly in a mantis rather than a box, thanks to the guys at Perris Valley Wind Tunnel, and can check my altimeter by sliding my my arms fingers to elbows, which puts my altimeter right under my nose. For the two-eyes out there, try putting a patch over one eye for a couple of jumps-I'm sure all the monocular jumpers will get quite a laugh out of your landing;) . It's a long post, but there are a lot of technique alterations needed to safely jump with one eye. For the original poster, tell your brother to go for it.B|
Es gibt nur zwei Dinge welche unendlich sind: das Universum und die menschliche Dummheit, wobei ich mir beim Ersten nicht ganz sicher bin..

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This is such a great thread! I wasn't aware that there were so many people out there jumping who were also non-binocular seeing folks. I was born with Strabismus & have had 3 eye surgeries to correct the crossing -- but have never and will never see binocularly. I know I've designed my life to judge distances without depth perception, as I'm doing with my landing now. I'm getting much better at it than when I started jumping. i always flared too high. I do wonder about the whole night jumping requirement for the D-license when I get to that stage. . . other jumpers have told me to just do those jumps on a radio for flare height. I'm also thinking about the possiblity of a restricted D-license. I know I'm a distance away from actually dealing with this, but it's been mulling around in my mind. Opinions??

_____________
PMS #394

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I do wonder about the whole night jumping requirement for the D-license when I get to that stage. . . other jumpers have told me to just do those jumps on a radio for flare height. I'm also thinking about the possiblity of a restricted D-license. I know I'm a distance away from actually dealing with this, but it's been mulling around in my mind. Opinions??



1) Use a well known canopy, that you're very comfortable with
2) Go where you've jumped alot before and are very familiar with
3) Go when there is a full moon
4) Go when they provide a nicely lit landing area
5) Have fun!

ltdiver

Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon

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I do wonder about the whole night jumping requirement for the D-license when I get to that stage. . . other jumpers have told me to just do those jumps on a radio for flare height. I'm also thinking about the possiblity of a restricted D-license. I know I'm a distance away from actually dealing with this, but it's been mulling around in my mind. Opinions??



1) Use a well known canopy, that you're very comfortable with
2) Go where you've jumped alot before and are very familiar with
3) Go when there is a full moon
4) Go when they provide a nicely lit landing area
5) Have fun!

ltdiver



Good advise! Thanks. ;)

_____________
PMS #394

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I am correctable to 20/20 in my L eye but due to a condition known as amblyopia the vision in my R eye can only be corrected to 20/60. Basically enought to see the big E, but the brain doesn't interpret the signals coming from that eye so its just like having 1 eye. Sucks when waitresses approach from that side and scare the bejeebers out of me. Anyways, I know that isn't much compared to some of the other posts of people who have total vision loss, but thought I'd give my two cents. I had a hell of a hard time learning to flare because of a lack of decent depth perception. From other jumpers I talk to, I get the feeling that I have a more powerful sensation of ground rush than people who see well and have good depth perception. So I try to look out ahead of me sooner and try to judge my flare in reference to other objects in the area. My biggest worry is losing the contact in my L eye. I know I could find my way back by looking for the runways and get myself into a clear area, but it would be big PLF time come landing. Anyways, just my story. HUGE props to the guys and gals who are able to keep jumping and have overcome some huge obstacles to do so.

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a good friend of mine lost his eye at Rantoul one year when someone else's fireworks when out of control.


He loved to swoop. 8 months later he was swooping at full speed again (under a velocity)
_______________________________
If I could be a Super Hero,
I chose to be: "GRANT-A-CLAUS". and work 365 days a Year.
http://www.hangout.no/speednews/

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I'm another one ... blind in my left eye from a childhood
injury (no light perception). I tend to avoid RW because
I don't like messing everybody else up.

I've crashed so many times on landing that I've come to
EXPECT a crash ... not a good thing psychologically if I
ever hope to master flaring at the right time. But, on the
positive side, I've learned to PLF pretty good.

Suggestions are always welcome. Thanks.

_________________________
Website: Dick’s Stuff


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it takes time getting used to RW formations, even with both eyes working. i freefly and am cautious about the # of people and my closure rate. i don't usually jump with more than one.
now for the landings.
next time you fly commercial, ask the pilot to overload the aircraft, and on entering downwind, don't bother with the flaps. at 4 hundred feet, do a 360 turn to increase the rate of descent, increase the speed and shorten the runway. he'll ask if you're crazy. reply: no, i'm a skydiver, we do things that way.
now for something different. don't overload the canopy. follow the manufacturer recommended loading. use ZP material. fly a 9 cell. on entering the traffic pattern, call for flaps 5, flaps 10 on base and flaps up for final to pick up needed speed for the flare. entering the landing area in brakes slows things down so you can have longer to observe the area. a 9 cell canopy will have a flatter approach angle than a 7 cell. ZP will give you extra time and a lower stall speed. if the canopy is not overloaded, you should have plenty of flare and time to play at the slower speeds. hope this helps. keep your one eye open. Tom

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First question-how many jumps do you have now? I finally started seeing my landings at just over 100 jumps-at 125 jumps I started getting more aggresive, coming in on front risers-I don't look ahead; I rotate my vision from side to side as I set up, and it gives me better "faux" depth perception. This is on an 8yr old PD210, so no ZP fabric. I'm on the look-out for a Silhouette190-I jumped one in Germany and loved the response-better landings with a smaller canopy. I used to joke that I was practicing my PLFs, and now tht I've done 100 of them, I can practice more normal landings;).
Es gibt nur zwei Dinge welche unendlich sind: das Universum und die menschliche Dummheit, wobei ich mir beim Ersten nicht ganz sicher bin..

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Hey, I'm a new student. i just passed my AFF1 last week. I have amblyopia and can ony see well out of my right eye. During my jump I had trouble seeing my altimeter. I also had trouble landing (flared way too high). I'm left handed so i think that when I get my a license and a rig that i will get one with lefthanded boc and wear my altimeter on my right hand. It's great to see so many visually impaired jumpers out there.

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Hi everyone...I was born with no vision in one eye and except for my dodgy driving (only according to my family!) I've never had a problem...I'm new to the sport and am still completing my consols but (for what its worth) I've only landed on my backside once and find that depth perception isn't really an issue as long as I don't look at the ground directly beneath my feet!! Sounds a little odd I know but by using buildings or the flags I can judge the flair pretty accurately...I'm so pleased to read everyone’s else’s experiences as I was slightly concerned about jumping with my eyesight being the way it is!!
"I don't mean to harass you, but I was very impressed with the capable and stylish manner in which you dealt with that situation. And I was thinking to myself, now this girl's special..." M Renton

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Old post, but wanted to stick mine in here too. My right eye is 20/20 and my left I can pull off 20-60 if I squint and try real hard (but now for too long cause it hurts). I was born with Duane Syndrome.

I have to use my altimeter constantly under canopy and used to think that I just sucked ... I realized it's normal for me to have this issue (partially from reading this thread).

I am actually glad I never really knew why my depth perception was off. I might have been more scared jumping. I might have put more limitaitons on myself.

I have never disclosed to anyone at the DZ about my eye problem nor did I ever feel the need to. I did have to get rid of that chest altimeter pretty quick from student status cause I had a hard time seeing it if it slid off to my left.

Just last night I was pointing to something on my husband's monitor and poked the monitor with my finger. Doh! I know why I do that now!

And when I start jumping again this summer, I will get polycarbonate goggles!!!!

~ Lisa
~ Do you Rigminder?

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To avoid having to look at your alti so often, get yourself a Neptune and set the swoop alarms for 1000' 600' and 300'. Visualize what the ground looks like at those altitudes and memorize those visuals. Take a canopy piloting course with video of your approach. I now know when I'm at those altitudes by sight, not by sound. Practice your approach at around 3000' to see what your glide rate is in each direction and count the seconds between the beeps to learn how fast you get from one point to another on your pattern. If you have a low wing-loading, you might want to turn to your final leg at 250' instead of 300'. It still should give you at least 10 secs to regain full flight on your canopy, but you won't have as much time to anticipate and flare too soon. (The old-ground's coming at me and I think I'm at double my heigth, when in reality you're still 20' off the ground.) If you're not afraid to land near other people, when your feet are at their head level, it's time to slowly flare. Hope this helps. It sure improved my landings.B|
Es gibt nur zwei Dinge welche unendlich sind: das Universum und die menschliche Dummheit, wobei ich mir beim Ersten nicht ganz sicher bin..

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I lost my left eye to cancer back in 1992 and began jumping in 1994. I found the best thing is to check different reference points during final. Specifically, heading, position over the ground, left/right (for other traffic and break target fixation) and depending on the wind stage my flare. I even got to jump the NRGB in 2006!
Also, after he gets off student status I recommend he take an advance canopy control course. I can recommend one if you don't know of any courses.
In short, if he is anything like me, having vision in one eye wont stop him from learning.
If he needs to be encouraged, tell him I said he cant be a candy-ass his whole life (kidding)!
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. Helen Keller

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I am happy that you gave that great advise, I to was concerned reading about the use of contacts with anyone (not just a fellow skydiver) with one eye.

Also, great to have you with us in the air! Pretty cool huh!
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. Helen Keller

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I jump regularly with a guy that I'm 90-some % sure he's blind in one eye and he does fine.

Years ago I meet a gal-jumper that happened through Apple Valley that was (is) blind in one eye and she did fine. Lori was her name, I think, and I think she's still around Perris.

Last, but not least, I know a jump pilot / jumper (used to fly for Celaya out at Cal City... damed if I can remember the guy's name) that only had one good eye, other glass... he (say's) he lost the other in a BB gun incident when he was a kid... I figured he was THE GUY that mom always told stories about.

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