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spezticle

Finally got AFF L1 in the books!

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Weekend after weekend I kept getting rained, clouded, and winded out.
Today, the weather was right, I left work early. I seized the moment and it amazing.

I didn't pass the first jump, my altitude awareness was a little rusty. I was going to pull the ripcord but my mind was about 5 seconds too slow, they pulled for me. The canopy ride down was great. Size and shape were great, turnability was great. I flew and I loved it.

Daylight permitted one more attempt at the L1. I reviewed my errors and got my head back in the game.
Free fall was pretty perfect. I was spot on with altitude awareness, pulled the ripcord... (It ended well, but i'm going to relive this moment for you)

One one thousand.
two one thousand.
three one thousand.
four one thousand...
Lines are tangled.
oh shit. you got this you got this.
grab, stretch/pull, kick.
five one thousand.
shit. still stuck
six one thousand
shit shit still stuck.
pull harder. kick with everything i've got
it's coming out
seven one thousand
pull/kick. one more time
eight one thousand
FREEDOM

Oh man, did I yell. OH YEAH. YEAH!

Canopy ride down was pretty great, I navigated right to where I wanted to be, I played with the turns, and then I focused on my heading forward to prepare for landing, still up at like 2000ft. I rode the wrong direction based on the wind condition so I was floating off course. They were radioing me to help get me back but the damage was already done. I was about to learn my next critical lesson. I'm about 800 feet up and right on top of the interstate. I am going to land on the other side, ultimately about a half mile off course. Instructors are helping me steer but at this point line of site isn't so great so I have to rely on my class time training. Big patch of trees in front of me with a house in the middle, corn field open behind me, interstate to my right, i'm about 350 feet up.

I wanted to land in the open field but I'm afraid of the low altitude and the hard left turn that it will require to turn me around so I ditch that idea.
I'm braking to slow my forward trajectory down, aiming for the middle of the trees. They're about 100 feet in front of me. Brake a little harder to slow down a little more, I get up at the beginning of the tree line and turn soft to the right, aiming for the right side of the tree line. I don't want to go too hard to the right because I don't want to put myself into oncomming freeway traffic. I'd rather deal with trees than cars. I'm on top of the trees now, had to lift my legs hard and my feet kicked the very top leaves of a tree. I turn a little more right, right along the tree line, let off the brakes a bit and ride the final decent down into the tall grass that is between the freeway and the trees. It was scary but it ended quite well all things considered. Staff at the dropzone were quick to come get me. I'm sure I probably scared the crap out of them too. But boy oh boy did I ever learn that lesson.
Your flight plan is critical. I thought I had it right in my head but I got turned around and put myself off in the wrong direction. I attached a screenshot with some markings. The arrows are a rough estimate of my actual flight path.
My mistake was putting myself too far in the wrong direction, then trying to come back home but getting push farther out as I was over that lake where the arrow line begins.

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Good job surviving the off field landing. Some day, when you're an AFF instructor, you'll have a great cautionary tale for your FJ class. ;)B|

Next time concentrate on the hold out area and landing pattern and MAKE that parachute go where you WANT it to go. No more scaring your poor instructors. . . :D:D

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haha yes! It was a great learning experience and I really look forward to being able to use it as a real world example.

Even though I didn't do some critical things correct, I left the day still feeling accomplished because I made the best of a bad situation, I quickly dealt with a chute issue, and I recognized that I was in a bad situation but didn't let that cause me to make more bad decisions.

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