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Gordon in NC

Static Line Only Jumps

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Okay, first post and I gota feeling it's not going to go over well.  First reason is......I understand that a static line jump is not "really" skydiving.  But, what if a fellow isn't really interested in skydiving, he just wants canopy time.  Would it be possible to just do static line jumps?  I understand that you'd still need to be supervised and the cost would be greater once you past the 25 jump mark but if you didn't care about getting a license would it be bad idea to ask your DZ about it?

I'm a 68 year old male.  Past jump experience in the military (1969)  trying to relive some of those memories.  I signed up for a static line course and have made 3 jumps so far.  But I can tell that it's not going to be any fun from here on......I have to pass or fail different tasks.  Start free falling which I have no desire to do.  I'm not going to be doing this for decades....heck, I don't even buy green bananas anymore.   I haven't talked to my instructor about it but my last jump was my first PRCP and I was so worried about not getting it right....it took the fun out of it for me.

Am I going to be shamed out of the family because I just want the ride?

Thanks for listening and I'm open for suggestions........flame suit on........Gordon in NC

 

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On 6/16/2019 at 5:32 PM, Gordon in NC said:

Well........I like the idea of coming out of the plane at 3500 feet.   But that's all I'm interested in.  As part of a survival course (I was a junior instructor)  in the service we did some para sail.  I don't remember exactly how high the students got but it was mostly for PLF training and water landings.  Paragliding.......I don't know, seems like a face plant to me.  Thank you for taking the time to reply.....Still thinking it over.....Gordon in NC

I'd suggest you progress in the static line program to freefall.  That doesn't mean going to 12,500 feet and doing formations - it just means you get out and open your parachute right away.  Often this is called a clear and pull, or a hop and pop.  If you do a bunch of static lines you will find this pretty easy to accomplish.

Several reasons for doing this:

1) If you can demonstrate that you can exit and pull yourself, a DZ will be _much_ more willing to put you on a load.  You won't need anyone to deal with the static line.

2) Clear and pulls are safer than static line.  Static lines require management to prevent premature openings in the plane, entanglements with other jumpers/parts of the airplane and the dreaded "student in tow."

3) It will allow you to use a conventional (=cheaper) parachute.

It is also likely that if you do that enough, you will be able to talk someone into giving you a restricted A-license for clear and pulls only.  That gives you the ability to go almost anywhere and have fun.

(And don't let anyone tell you you are "not a skydiver" or anything.  You are jumping out of an airplane for fun, and that's pretty much the definition.)

 

 

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Well........I like the idea of coming out of the plane at 3500 feet.   But that's all I'm interested in.  As part of a survival course (I was a junior instructor)  in the service we did some para sail.  I don't remember exactly how high the students got but it was mostly for PLF training and water landings.  Paragliding.......I don't know, seems like a face plant to me.  Thank you for taking the time to reply.....Still thinking it over.....Gordon in NC

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I dont think there is anything wrong with what you want to do.

A lot of people do Hop'n'Pops only, this is where you jump out at 5K, wait 3-5 seconds to stabilize and pull. This would be the closest and most cost efficient thing to what you have suggested, but i am almost certain you will have to go thru the whole training process and FJC.

Good luck and Blue Skies!

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Sounds to me like you are wondering if the hassle of training/learning is worth it. Sure the training jumps are stressful, but the payoff is you get to  the point where you can demonstrate you have the basic skills needed to safely jump on your own.

If you honestly don't want to learn those basic skills, then sure, I think a dropzone would allow you to just do static line jumps. You pay them the $ for an instructor and a packer and they will take your money all day long. But it may be after a number of static line jumps, the idea of learning to deploy your own parachute may not seem so scary/difficult. Switching from static line to self-deployed and picking up a few simple freefall skills would allow you to jump by yourself. That gives you more flexibility, you don't need an instructor, you can jump at higher altitudes for longer flight time (or farther away from the drop zone). Some of the fun can return to training jumps if you back off the expectations, tell your instructor if you pass great, but if you fail, it's just another fun canopy ride for you.

Lots of people like flying parachutes around just as much or more than the freefall part. Look at the front page of this website, it shows a huge canopy formation, built by people who focus specifically on canopy flying, not freefall.



 

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So there's the question of whether to go for option 1 or 2 or maybe a 3rd.

1. Just do static line jumps, remaining a student.

Requires the appropriate aircraft and instructor and supervision every jump. Costs more and may not be available at all times at the DZ, depending on how many static line jumps they do. The only gear you can use will generally be dropzone student gear that's set up for static line.

2. Get a full license.

Allows you do do hop and pops with regular equipment out of more aircraft and more dropzones. But it requires learning a wider range of skills, as expected for the typical beginning skydiver, including freefall maneuvering skills.

3. Get a restricted license.

Here I'll have to defer to those in the USPA instructing system. Blind people and others have gotten licenses with certain restrictions, I think. Is it possible to get one that would work for hop and pop's only??    Just sticking to static line jumps might be pretty awkward unless your current dropzone really wants to work with you and does a lot of static line.  You would be able to use normal freefall gear and supervise yourself (taking much less time to arrange each jump), but not have to learn freefall skills you don't plan to use.
 

As Seth says though, once you do a bunch of jumps and get to a particular stage, you like many others might want to go a little further, beyond just static line or even hop and pop jumps. Scaring yourself a little with new things (including those first practice ripcord pulls) is part of skydiving...

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(edited)

What exactly is the reason behind you not willing to learn free fall drills and just doing static line jumps?

- cost of full training?
- nerves of having to learn something new / something scary?
- time commitment?
- not enough confidence in your skills & capabilities?

What if you jump and canopy is no good? Will you be afraid of cutting away as that means going back to free fall?

You will be much safer for yourself and others around you having full training finished. Getting off student status and doing first jumps alone with no instructors makes people really grow up and understand the responsibility shift from - "I'm with instructor, he will take care of stuff if needed" to "I'm 100% on my own, how do I do everything right?"

Many students go to wind tunnel to practice free fall drills and get more comfortable in the air. Would you consider doing 10-15 min now after you've already done some jumps? 15 min tunnel is equivalent to 15 free fall jumps from 15k feet. It really helps.

And then as others said - if you only want to do canopy time, you can do hops & pops from 5k feet. That's the type of jump where you exit the airplane and deploy within 3 seconds so your free fall is very short.

 

Edited by CoolBeans

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If that's what you want to do, go for it.

Keep in mind that S/L is somewhat of a dying discipline. Not a lot of DZs do it anymore. 

 

But if you can find one that does, and does FJCs and student jumps on a reasonably regular basis, then you should be fine. 
You really need to ask them and see what they think of your idea.

At my original DZ, we had a few folks who would come out and do a S/L jump once or twice a year. At that level of currency (or more accurately, lack of it), they went through the FJC every year. Which made it fairly easy to teach the course to them. 

And they were far less nervous in the plane and out the door than the first timers. 

The instructors comments about them were far more along the lines of "Oh, these guys again. Cool. They mostly know what they're doing" and I never heard anything disparaging. They were usually invited to jump more often and more regularly to get licensed, but they really didn't have much interest (or ability to afford it). 

After you've done a few S/Ls, try a PCRP. Don't do it thinking of 'pass/fail', do it more to see if you can. 

And. most importantly, do what you want. And have fun doing it.

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Well I have to say you guys (and gals?) impressed me.  I thought I'd get raked over the coals but instead your answers were helpful and positive......and I thank you all for it.

A little back ground....(warning I can get a bit long winded) I graduated High School in 1968.....not a good time in history to be male, middle class and have both feet and hands.  I attended jump school in early 1969.  After that, my jumps were hop and pops from a chopper to demonstrate the Air Force's 4 line release on their ejection seat canopies.  Fast forward 5 decades............bucket list time I want to jump again before I turn 70.  I talk my daughter into going with me.  There are no DZ's in North Carolina (that I know of) that offer static line jumps.  Doing a tandem wasn't something I was the least bit interested in ( my daughter did one and LOVED it).  So I had to search for a DZ that offered static line jumps ( in 1969 we were proud to do them).  The DZ we picked out is a 4 hour drive one way.  After the jump I just couldn't get it off my mind and wanted to to it again.  I'm NOT looking for another hobby.....I already have a couple that take up a lot of my time.  I'm just trying to relive some of those past memories......and none of those had anything to do with skydiving......or what they called sports jumping back in the 60's.  What we did was called Parachuting....at least in the circles I rotated in.

I contacted the DZ owner this morning.......these folks are the BEST IMO......I don't know how they rate in the Skydiving world but as decent human beings....I couldn't ask for better.  They are more than willing to work with me.  I had pretty much agreed to the 25 jumps required for the class A and honestly I'd be shocked if I do that many.  I've been to the DZ 4 times and each time I wasn't the only static line jumper.  He told me that when and if I want to advance further......I could.  So for now I'm good  

I really like this advice from Wolfriverjoe

"After you've done a few S/Ls, try a PCRP. Don't do it thinking of 'pass/fail', do it more to see if you can. 

And. most importantly, do what you want. And have fun doing it"

Thank you for that.......it makes perfect sense in my situation 

CoolBeans had some good advice too........I have been thinking about his comment/question about being too scared to cut away because of going into freefall.  I'm really new at this but .....I exit the plane at 3500......have a malfunction and need to make a decision by 2500 feet.    I'm in a student rig with one D handle that cuts away the main canopy and deploys the reserve in one pull.  Am I going to freeze because of the fear of freefall?????  I can't answer that with 100% certainty but my guess is.....I'm pulling the handle because as a full grown man I know what's probably going to happen if I don't.  Most probably I'd be prone to pull it early instead of trying a few more kicks to get out of line twist.......cause I'm not going to be embarrassed back at the hanger....hell I'm a student.  

I'll finish with this (told ya I was long winded)........it's a static line jump....I get it's not skydiving....I'm okay with that.  But....when the door opens (C182) and the instructortells me to go all the way out on the strut.  I'm the one climbing out and hanging of the strut and I'm the one who lets go......nobody is holding my hand.  Yep.......I get some help getting the chute out and I'm okay with that too.

THANK YOU All  for taking the time to reply.........it means a lot and I do appreciate it.  

Clear skies........a grateful Gordon in NC

 

                   

 

 

 

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You can argue the semantics of it as much as you want (If you really want to do that, spend some time in Speaker's Corner... Or maybe not ;)). 

But if you've got what it takes to gear up, get on the plane, go up in the air and then leave the plane, you are a jumper. 

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(edited)
16 hours ago, wolfriverjoe said:

<snip>........
But if you've got what it takes to gear up, get on the plane, go up in the air and then leave the plane, you are a jumper. 

IMO.....the hobby is lucky to have people like you in it sir.

Scheduled to go back this weekend.....I gota plan and a goal and good people willing to work with me on them.

Life is good.  You only die once........live every day.

Gordon in NC

 

Edited by Gordon in NC
didn't sign it

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On 6/16/2019 at 5:28 PM, Gordon in NC said:

Okay, first post and I gota feeling it's not going to go over well.  First reason is......I understand that a static line jump is not "really" skydiving.  But, what if a fellow isn't really interested in skydiving, he just wants canopy time.  Would it be possible to just do static line jumps?  I understand that you'd still need to be supervised and the cost would be greater once you past the 25 jump mark but if you didn't care about getting a license would it be bad idea to ask your DZ about it?

I'm a 68 year old male.  Past jump experience in the military (1969)  trying to relive some of those memories.  I signed up for a static line course and have made 3 jumps so far.  But I can tell that it's not going to be any fun from here on......I have to pass or fail different tasks.  Start free falling which I have no desire to do.  I'm not going to be doing this for decades....heck, I don't even buy green bananas anymore.   I haven't talked to my instructor about it but my last jump was my first PRCP and I was so worried about not getting it right....it took the fun out of it for me.

Am I going to be shamed out of the family because I just want the ride?

Thanks for listening and I'm open for suggestions........flame suit on........Gordon in NC

 

There is nothing wrong with wanting to do only static-line jumps, but you are just going to need to talk the DZO and an instructor into it. Skydiving is oriented toward "progressing" toward freefall and licenses, and it is going to take a major mind shift for them to want to accomodate you.

 

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On 6/17/2019 at 12:28 AM, Gordon in NC said:

.. a static line jump is not "really" skydiving.  

 

What?? IMO, static line jumping is absolutely "really skydiving". Don't let anybody force you into doing something you are not comfortable with. 

I know a few people who did exactly what you want to do. One was ex military and made a couple of hundred jumps if I remember well. The other did formation CReW (canopy formation) jumps, but eventually got tired of being dependent on jumpmasters and progressed to freefall. She also had a few hundred staticline jumps at the time.

 

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(edited)

Just a quick update......it's been a busy week at work.  My DZ says they will work with me.  I've also been in contact ( from the start of this) with another DZ that's about the same distance from me and they say they too will work with me.  That one in fact says they have had a jumper that has over 100 static line jumps with them.  So I guess i'm not as alone as I first thought.  My GOAL is hop and pops.......but I'm not in a hurry.  Like I said at the first of this, at my age I don't even buy green bananas.   THANK YOU all for the positive comments and support.....a testimony to the types of good folks in the hobby. 

Gota get past a couple of busy weekends in my "other" hobby and then I can climb back in the plane.  I have to be honest.....after that mess last jump I was really considering just hanging it up but for the life of me (no pun intended) I just can't shake the desire to do it again.  IF and when I do finally quit......I'd like for it to be on an high note ( okay that was an intended pun).

Take care folks and I hope our paths cross one day so I can shake your hand in person.  I'll report back in a few weeks once I've gotten back to it.

Gordon in NC

PS.....PLEASE don't get me wrong....in NO WAY did my DZ force me to do anything I didn't want to do.  But they can't read minds and I just kept quiet and tried to go with the program.  Most of the other students are a LOT younger than I am and are eager to get that A license...and so far all of them are excited about freefall.  I should have spoken up before I put MYSELF in that position.  But it's all out front and I know I feel better about the whole deal now.....the folks at my DZ have been VERY helpful and I couldn't ask for more.

   

 

Edited by Gordon in NC

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(edited)

Just a quick update.  Life got in the way but I finally made it back to the DZ today.  I had a long e-mail conversation with the owner and this morning my instructor and I had a long sit down face to face talk.    I'm feeling so much better after it all got sorted.  They are willing to work with me and I do appreciate their understanding and cooperation.  

So........after all of that.....it was time to gear up and get back in the plane.  Things went SO MUCH better for me today.  I was focused and even though it was a "little" late I made my first PRCP.     Little steps.... but at least it's got me where I'm excited about it again.  Thanks again for the positive replies.  I got this.

Gordon in NC

Edited by Gordon in NC

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Got some parallels with you. I am 68 and served for 4 years in what was Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) 1969-73.  9 years ago, with my kids off my hands, I decided I would like to do just one freefall jump. Signed up for an AFF level 1 in Spain. I must admit that I had sensory overload on the jump. There was a lot of noisy chatter to altitude from the experienced jumpers on the lift, which I found disconcerting.  Couldn't understand why my Alti was at 0' (it was actually at 12000') and, I'm told, kept asking my instructor 'what height are we at?'. Got in the door at skydive time - check out....and jumped.  Fortunately my primary and secondary instructor anticipated the early exit and stayed with me. Did all the drills. At 6000' I was looking for the toggle on my leg instead of on the container. An inauspicious start to a skydive but I did what I had set out to do, a freefall jump from 12500' and a canopy ride. One thing led to another....I'm still jumping and enjoying every minute of it. I'll never be a Ninja, my freefly sit position is pretty ordinary, and downsizing from my trusty Spectre 190', which I enjoy landing and packing, will never be an option.  Hopefully I'll be doing much the same for years to come. All the best to you whatever you decide to do. Blue Skies.

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