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niklasmato

Fear after first Cut-away

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I started skydiving about 2 months ago.
I went through my AFF in 8 jumps and never was scared.
After my 8th jump someone at our dropzone had an accident an passed away.
I kept jumping and then on my 13th jump i had a reserver.
I've done 3 jumps since then (16 now) but my last 3 jumps i was a lot more uncertain and scared then before ..
I hope this will go away as i make more jumps.

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I also had to cut away on jump #18 during training due to tension knots that caused me to dive to the left and spin rapidly. I knew that I had to jump again or the fear may grow more intense, so the first thing I did was manifest myself for the next load, which was my first jump without a coach. I was definitely very nervous because of the cutaway but it was such a great feeling when I was under a working canopy.

I've jumped 4 times since the cutaway and it has gotten better. I find peace of mind in the following:

-I performed proper emergency procedures as I was trained to do
-My gear didn't let me down. It did what it was supposed to do. The reserve kept me alive. I'm still here!
-Understanding that cutaways are inevitable, that's why we have reserves
-I got my first cutaway over with early in my skydiving career. I'm more confident that I'll be able to react properly during the next one.
-Sure it was scary, but it helps me to not become complacent and disregard safety concern
-Research on why my particular malfunction happened, what I can do to prevent it in the future, and how to best react if it happens again. As well as thoroughly researching and practicing all malfunctions so that the response is second nature
-I have a great story to tell

With that said, I still have jitters every single jump, even before the cutaway. Overcoming that fear is part of the fun for me. Once I jump out that door it all melts away. I love it! It does get easier though. My last jump I was even thinking how much less nervous I was and more so looking forward to doing front flips on the exit. Hope this helps!

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Nothing shook my confidence more than the loss, for the first time while in the sport, of someone I knew. It even caused me to question my involvement in this sport. (Same feeling of apprehension happened to me for the same reason in a different sport earlier in my life.) For me, this happened quite some time after my first cutaway, which, in itself, was a confidence builder. I think maybe that, for you, your loss and your first cutaway were early in your jumping career and in quick succession. I can certainly see a natural fear or uncertainty building under those circumstances.

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The fear or apprehension after a cutaway will probably go away soon.
The doubts and questions after losing a friend or even an acquaintance probably never do. And that's a good thing, constantly questioning every aspect of this sport is a good way to keep yourself alive.
Be ready, if you stay in the sport, to periodically go through them.
I'm standing on the edge
With a vision in my head
My body screams release me
My dreams they must be fed... You're in flight.

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I can totally relate to this. The jump after my first reserve ride I almost rode the plane back down and I had over 100 jumps at the time.

Something that may help you is trying to think about your cutaway from a different perspective. You correctly handled your emergency, so maybe try thinking of it as a confidence builder in that you can handle whatever emergency occurs in the future. Keep practicing and reviewing your EPs.

Another thing that may help is finding gear that you can really trust. Do you have your own gear or are you still on rental gear?
I was put on this earth to do one thing. Luckily I forgot what it was so I do whatever I want.

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You didn't think you could die before now.:)

Now you know the gear will not always work, that if the main can go wrong the rest of it can, and you have to be responsible for your life.

When I started some dzs used automatic openers for static line and/or first freefall students but some didn't. And very few non-students used AOD's (term at the time). No tandem jumps, no aff jumpmasters, every jump you were on your own. Skydiving was one of very few activities where if you did NOTHING you would die. With the popularity of electronic AAD's (and the often requirement) skydiving is not quite so scary theses days.;) Until you find out it doesn't always work.

But now you know YOU work. That's always a doubt until the first emergency. Concentrate on that, figure what you still might have done wrong (not look at a handle), learn from it and know you can take care of yourself.

And it will get less scary. When you feel safer out of the airplane than in it your there.B|
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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I think you should take the packing class sooner rather than later. Try to find one given by a rigger, where they explain the details of the workings of your rig. The more you know about how your gear works, the more comfortable you'll be using it.
I'm trying to teach myself how to set things on fire with my mind. Hey... is it hot in here?

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FlyingRhenquest

I think you should take the packing class sooner rather than later. Try to find one given by a rigger, where they explain the details of the workings of your rig. The more you know about how your gear works, the more comfortable you'll be using it.



A lot of that should be done in the first jump training course.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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Even without accidents and cutaways it seems there is a pattern with some jumpers that there is no apprehension, then an increase in apprehension, and then it goes away. From just remembering what others have said, for this to happen after 5 or 10 jumps seems to be fairly common. I think it is because you learn more about what can go wrong and the initial joy/thrill is replace by more reasoning type thinking.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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Most first jump courses only cover the "must knows" about equipment: where are the handles? ...... what does a good main parachute look like?
.... in order to avoid over-loading students with trivia.

"Should knows" are introduced later, during packing lessons.

"Could knows" are studied in depth during rigger courses.

The best students wait until a lull in jumping, then ask one or two gear-related questions per day.
The best packers, instructors and riggers will cheerfully answering gear-related questions. The longest answers come at the end of the day when everyone is sitting around the campfire, sipping cool beverages.

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Fear is normal and helps keep you alive.
The challenge is taking the radom fears of a beginner and translating that fear into watching clouds, studying the windsock, packing neatly, maintaining altitude awareness, etc.

I did not suffer my first reserve ride until I had 45 jumps. Before that, I never knew if I would keep my cool and pull the correct handles .... in the correct sequence .....
After my first reserve ride, I gained confidence in my own ability to save my own life.

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niklasmato

I'm currently still using rental gear and i'm not yet folding my parachutes.
I think that's also a reason why my confidence is lower then it used to be.



At first, it sounded strange that I would feel more comfortable packing my own rather than using rental gear, because those rigs are packed by experienced packers while I was a noob struggling to pack.

I understand it now, mostly. Even though my pack jobs are still (and maybe will always be) slower and sloppier, it's at least consistent and I get less surprises.

I still love it when you have a packer used to your rig and needs some cash so he packs for you all day. It's just a whole different experience not having to get drenched packing and just kick it between jumps.

------------

I also had my 1st cutaway before #100. It was a rush of reactions but I did feel more confident knowing that there's one less surprise out there for me. I'm just glad it didn't happen on a hop & pop or long spot.

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