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youngandlegless

amputee wanting to skydive

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i am a below the knee amputee on my left side and was just wondering if there was anyone out there who is an experienced jumper that could give me some tips on how to get started in the sport? i just have a few question such as how jumping with one leg affects stability during free fall? if i should jump while wearing or not wearing my prosthetic. Figured there has to be in a similar situation that could provide some advice. So far i have only done one jump, it was a tandem and i did not wear my leg.

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There is another amputee skydiver in Texas (mx757 on here) who is a left arm amputee.

There have been at least 20 amputees jumping at one time or another across the US. So, no reason you can't do it.

Spaceland in Houston is a good place to start.

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We have a local jumper at SDAZ who is missing half of his left leg; he jumps with his prosthetic. He's worked his way up to his D license, has a Coach Rating, flies video, and is now working on his Pro Rating! I'll have to ask him what he did in the beginning when he was still learning but I can get back to you on that.
You can also send an email to AXIS Flight School in Eloy. They do a lot of work with Operation Enduring Warrior and have taught even triple amputees how to skydive, from AFF Cat A onward. They'd be a fantastic resource for you!

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I guess al Kruger and all the " pieces of eight " team would be retired or gone now . that was a long time back. [:/]
i have on occasion been accused of pulling low . My response. Naw I wasn't low I'm just such a big guy I look closer than I really am .


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This is a FB post from Scotty Milne who owns and runs Active Skydiving;

'Big shout for Jamie Fearon Dempsey who was awarded his B licence and FS1 on this trip. Not bad for a lad who lost his left leg in a traffic accident and flies like a bird with his false leg'

I'm sure you can connect with Jamie or Scotty via FB and they can give you some advice.

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keithbar

I guess al Kruger and all the " pieces of eight " team would be retired or gone now . that was a long time back. [:/]



yea, lot of the Pieces of Eight guys are retired now, I stopped jumping after 29 years....

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Hey Young and legless,

If your a below the knee amputee then you'll find it not too hard to learn how to skydive.

I've been lucky to be involved with the UK charity BLESMA (www.blesma.org), and have taught over 20 of there members to jump.

As you can move your lower limb, you have more control of your flying surface as opposed to some one with an ATK amputation. What we found was that the prosthetic being somewhat lighter and more aerodynamic had less of an affect on the airflow. Not sure what your prosthetic looks like, but we put pipe insulation around the prosthetic to increase its surface area making it look like the good leg. We also on occasions had to weight the leg down if the owner was not able to force it down in the airflow. Have a look on youtube for BLESMA Trans4mers video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOrMXiUaCvA it'll show whats possible. Feel free to PM if you have any questions. Good luck Andy
At long last the light at the end of the tunell isnt an on coming train!!!

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Great advice from Andy.

I'm an LBKA myself, and started AFF in June of this year.
Because you have the knee mobility, you should be okay.

A few things I noticed.
First, I lucked into really good instructors. Even though they'd never taught an amputee before, they asked lots of questions, and really helped working around some of the things that are different.

On that note, I've yet to figure out how to run out a canopy landing when jumping with what happens to be my main walking leg. If I don't think I will make a standup landing, I'll just slide it in

Second, the knee doesn't flex the same way, and so to make sure the legs give even input, I need to apply a little more mental focus to the left side, and the right follows. You'll know what I mean when you get to it.

The airflow over the limb is definitely different. A decent suit makes a difference. I started jumping a shorty without modifying the limb, just to get good at dealing with the asymmetry. It's not easy, and I'll likely ditch that soon and go with the limb cover approach that Andy suggested.

For me, the force isn't an issue, but I know for some it might be.

Not being able to flex the ankle also means you'll need to figure out the adjustments you need for nuanced inputs.

The last thing I noticed is for me skin care is more critical. Those hot sunny days at the DZ can cause you to sweat in the liner, and the skin to get irritated.

Good luck!
Mark

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