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mac_la

Starting Over (In a sense...)

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Posted (edited)

Getting back into skydiving in a couple weeks. Super stoked, super nervous. I was trained at SS Houston and received some of the best (if not the best) AFF training out there. When I last jumped two years ago, I had my A license and 30-something jumps (yes, I know how new I am and I know how long it’s been since my last jump — save the comments on that please; life gets in the way of things).
 

That being said, I had a minor landing accident two years ago on my most recent jump whole jumping at altitude (Colorado). Busted my back up decently (two herniated discs, broken tailbone and one shitty drop zone). 
 

As such, I’m not worried at all about jumping, free fall or deployment (and I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the tunnel over the past couple years). I am, in transparency, incredibly nervous about flaring and landing given the lapse in time since my last jump and my incident, though
 

Do you guys have any solid (see: good) advice on my return? I have been studying my AFF student manual in entirety (with a bit focus on EPs) and the SIM/ISP. 
 

Thank you for any positive comments and advice thrown my way. 
 

edit: I’ve also lost about 50 lbs since I last jumped

Edited by mac_la

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Learn to PLF. Practice it a lot. Get good at it.
I never cease to be amazed how hard of a landing I can walk away from with a proper PLF.

Get a big canopy. Far more forgiving.

Spend some time with an instructor or a good canopy pilot watching other people land. Discuss what they are doing right and wrong. 

Get a good idea of what the various heights look like. A flight of steps or a ladder can put you at the proper height to begin a flare. Get that 'picture' clear in your head.

Maybe do a tandem or two, with an instructor who is willing to work with you on the flare 'picture' and timing. 

 

Don't forget to have fun.

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Get a complete eye exam including depth perception and peripheral vision. There are techniques to improve landings if you have weakness in either area but find out first. Due to a weakness in one eye I have almost no depth perception (which is actually more common than most people know), and have learned to adapt. I'll never be a swooper but decent landings can be performed even with only one eye.

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(edited)

You were a low time jumper and did not know about the difference in parachute performance at high altitudes. 

Take the FJC, ask for radio assistance, and definitely practice PLF’s.

Nothing against the DZ where you were trained, as Spaceland has a great program, but I everyone thinks their training was “the best”.

PLF’s are something that receive very little time in most student programs. This is pretty universal since round mains and reserves went away, but when things go wrong, a good PLF can save you.

Edited by ufk22

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A hundred times on all that advice. I think the PLF is seriously undertaught and underused. Yes, if you're screaming in on a swoop it might not help you.

But a lot of bad landings involve something besides too much forward speed, and a good PLF will help in the vast majority. And it won't hurt in most forward speed scenarios, either.

Wendy P.

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plf's are good big canopies are as well, but there's no substitution for currency, i understand life gets in the way, but being uncurrent doesn't only have a affect on you, it can sometimes affect the others in the air and around you.   Blue Skies

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(edited)

I have been in and out of the sport for almost 30 years. There seems to always be a stigma about not doing a standup landing. Maybe I am just old and do not get embarrassed easy. I also don't heal as easy as I once did. I am always ready to do a PLF when I am uneasy at landing. The stigma doesn't bother me one bit. I dust off the dirt and laugh right along with everyone else. I haven't been injured yet. I have seen plenty of people get hurt.

Edited by Jay Garrett
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22 hours ago, airnutt said:

plf's are good big canopies are as well, but there's no substitution for currency, i understand life gets in the way, but being uncurrent doesn't only have a affect on you, it can sometimes affect the others in the air and around you.   Blue Skies

How does one get current again if they are dangerous because they are not current?  

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26 minutes ago, skybytch said:

How does one get current again if they are dangerous because they are not current?  

But starting off with easier simpler dives than where you were when you last jumped. By recognizing sensible limits and re-learning old skill. In some cases it may involve formal instruction and/or coaching. But mostly it's just common sense.

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(edited)

I am on a same boat. I flared way too high and did plf but I still managed to break my back and my big toe. I get instant anxiety even watching landing videos on Youtube. I will only be able to come back next year and I plan to rent a bigger canopy for some time and attend a canopy course. 

Edited by Rimi

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All good advice here. Practice PLFs - absolutely; simple skydive - solo exit from 6,000 ft., and consider a water landing in a nearby lake with a big docile canopy.  When a good friend got a terminally ill disease in his 40s and could barely walk, he really wanted to make one last skydive. 

I have a large lake about 2 miles from my DZ, so I arranged a boat and ground crew. He and I did solos from 6,000 ft., landed next to the boat on a beautiful sunny Florida day and drank a cold beer with a toast to life.

A water jump will reduce the mental stress of the skydive, you'll get aired out for 15 seconds, pull at 4,000 and don't worry about a crash landing.  Very hard to injure yourself on a water landing. Jump with flotation gear and know how to use it.

Get an Instructor to jump with you (no RW, focus on the solo skydive) and give you a water jump briefing in a swimming pool, jump a C-182 to minimize your distractions on the way up to altitude. Mentally rehearse the entire plan for the skydive; door opening, spotting, exit to landing the simple solo jump, then skydive the plan.  Feel the cool water. Life will be good. 

Frank  D-8200

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On 7/21/2020 at 2:05 AM, Jay Garrett said:

I have been in and out of the sport for almost 30 years. There seems to always be a stigma about not doing a standup landing. Maybe I am just old and do not get embarrassed easy. I also don't heal as easy as I once did. I am always ready to do a PLF when I am uneasy at landing. The stigma doesn't bother me one bit. I dust off the dirt and laugh right along with everyone else. I haven't been injured yet. I have seen plenty of people get hurt.

Doing PLFs make me feel young again :)  I was also lucky to start on rounds, now whenever a landing looks dodgy I can instantly do a PLF at the last second.  So far I have been lucky and never been hurt, nothing worse than bruises.

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