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Rustbucket350

Rough Canopy Opening

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On 4/20/2022 at 10:44 PM, Rustbucket350 said:

I think for now the key is...

 

To be sure, your immediate concern is to get through your levels one by one. But since you like to over think things, what I was doing with my post was trying to convey a train of thought. Those aren't things you necessarily need to know before your next jump, but it illustrates a way of learning. You mentioned the hop n pop. The hop n pop is relevant to emergency exits. So I was fleshing out what else is relevant to emergency exits. If you look at things that way, you can learn not just 'what' they're teaching you, but why it's important. That way, you don't just do a hnp because that's what they told you to do, you prepare yourself for the possibility of an emergency exit. If you do that with all of the TLO's, and the environment in general, you become a well informed, prepared skydiver.

A bit more about the hnp and emergency exits and survival in general. Like I've said, the point of the hnp is not to make a safe jump from 5k, it's to prepare yourself for an emergency exit. By most DZ protocols, you might be asked to do one anywhere over 1500ft. So while it is important on your actual hnp to 'take your time and get stable', it's not really about 'calculating freefall time', it's about being able to get the f out and get the f open when it's absolutely necessary. Taking 1000ft to do it might work on your official practice jump, but it might not be practical some day irl. So it's worth training yourself on. And some of your learning doesn't necessarily take dedicated study so much as targeted observation. For example, learning alternate landing areas. You don't need your pilot to draw you a map of his routes which you then study on Google Earth, just gaze out the window on your ride up and ask yourself 'if I needed to exit now, where would I land?' And to be sure, protocols are in place for a reason, and the Pilot in Command is in charge, so do what he says. And you need to be cognizant of things like weight and balance, and calm order vs panicked chaos. But there may come a moment in time when your immediate survival may require a decision. Here's a story from dinosaur days, long before seat belts were a thing. There was a DC-3 on takeoff roll. They were getting up to pretty good speed, but were still on the runway when things started to get out of control and it was apparent they were going to crash before they even took off. One guy in the back decided to dive out the door and  pull his round reserve. He knew he was going to hit the runway, but he figured his canopy would stop him quickly, which it did. He went out the door thinking he was going to be the only survivor. Well the plane did  groundloop and cartwheel and whatever, and pretty much everybody was injured to varying extents, by the grace of God no one died. But this guy went out the door figuring he'd be the only survivor, and survive he did. He was satisfied.

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Only managed 1 jump due to winds this weekend but I did way better.  More importantly, I FELT better after exit.  Still need to work on leg symmetry but everything else is there.  Had a really good amount of twist, thought I might get 2 freefalls, but I was able to fix it relatively quickly.  I watched it twist up and I was like ah dammit.  Time to put some training to the test.

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3 hours ago, Rustbucket350 said:

We agreed to do it again to get the legs ironed out.  I'd honestly rather be good than pass just to pass.

That, grasshopper, is exactly the right answer.

Wendy P. 

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Disclaimer: Anything I (or anyone else) have to say on here is just the ramblings of someone on the internet. Your primary source for instruction and training is your live, in person instructors when you go to your dz.

That being said, I can offer some feedback from watching your videos. I'll leave it up to you whether you care to hear it.

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(edited)

I almost forgot.  On that last ride to altitude I did take that into account regarding the hop n pop.  "If we have to exit now, can I do it?".  Honestly it's less intimidating actually being on the plane than thinking about it.

Edited by Rustbucket350
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On 4/26/2022 at 4:00 PM, Rustbucket350 said:

We agreed to do it again to get the legs ironed out.

 

Sometimes on the close up video the lens can distort things a bit, so your instructors can work with you on the specifics of your body position. (Do you know about 'heel clicks' or 'toe taps' to get your legs even?) One thing I would suggest is a bit less arms, that is, your hands might want to be more even with your head as opposed to out in front of you. But I'll give you something more general to think about.

The release dive is kind of a crux point in your progression. Freefall stability and control is kind of like a kid learning to ride a bicycle in that there is a subtle balance point to it. At first the kid has training wheels, then someone is holding the back of the seat and letting go, the kid is wobbly, then something 'clicks' and the kid's got it. Next thing you know, he's jumping curbs, doing wheelies and what not. Freefall control is similar. On the release dives, the student often tries to get the ideal body position, hold it rigid, and hope for the best. But then any asymmetricity will cause a turn, and the more rigid you hold it the worse it gets. So you want to be more relaxed, more fluid. Freefall is a fluid environment. It's more a boat on the water than a car on the street. And holding a heading can be less a matter of getting the body position perfect, and more of exerting subtle turn control in order to stay put. On your last dive, you can see that you have a pretty significant left turn happening. Every time your instructor lets go, you start to go left, and he re-docks or blocks you to stop it. That's kind of a tight spot for him, because the hope is that you notice it and correct, but he stops you pretty quickly, because if he doesn't you're going to spin and that certainly would not help you to relax. So on your release, you want to notice if you're starting to go anywhere, then take corrective action by doing a counter turn. But it's subtle. Looking at your level 2 dive, it looks like you got robbed a bit. When it's time for your turns, you can see the instructor shake you to prompt you, but then he kind of takes over. You can see him pushing down and pulling up on your arm to effect the turns. I'm willing to bet that he also put some legs into it to effect the turns himself. You can see the other instructor putting some leg control into the second turn. That's also kind of a tight spot for the instructors, because you trying to do your first turns, it takes more effort with the instructors hanging on than it would by yourself. So while they don't want to impede you, they shouldn't feed you either. So it doesn't look like you really got a positive feel for your own turns on that dive. I can't tell your instructors what to do, but if I had you on your next jump, what I would do is - It looks like you're otherwise comfortable and relaxed, and efficient with your exit and PRCT. I would have you do your exit, a quick touch, then a turn each way (starting with right) to feel the control, then go for the release. Again, they're going to do what they will, and they should, but that would be my take. Another thing that helps with heading control is to make sure you're looking at it. If you're 'in your head' thinking about things, it's easy to meander around. But if you pick a spot on the horizon and look at your heading, it can help you hold it.

So that's about a nickel's worth, adjusted for inflation. Take it or leave it, or douse it with salt. In any event, good luck with your next jump, be relaxed and have fun!

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Thanks for the advice.  I like the bike analogy.  Probably a lot like when I learned how to skate half pipes when I used to skateboard.  At first it's intimidating and you don't want to commit because you might fall so you do end up falling.

I was a lot more relaxed on that last one and more aware in freefall.  The rear exit was a lot of fun and that helped.  I picked out a cloud way off on the horizon for my heading but it was hard to realize I was turning.  I'm pretty sure that turn is what resulted in line twist too since it twisted the same direction.

I'll ask about bringing the arms back next time and how to relax my legs while still keeping them extended.  I noticed right away when we reviewed the video that my legs looked a lot better but not symmetrical and I just held them in that position.  I'll see what they think about toe taps or heel clicks too.  I did schedule another 10 minutes of tunnel time.  I don't want to overdo it in the tunnel right now but it definitely helped to get a feel of how the wind moved across me.

One thing I thought about is there really isn't a lot of focus on leg position and how that affects turns, even in the tunnel as a beginner.  Maybe that's on purpose.

Plus side, it's getting less nerve racking and turning into determination to succeed.

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(edited)

I just reread that DC-3 story.  Man that is wild.  I'd love to exit one of those since I do like a lot of vintage stuff.  Especially planes and vehicles.  Supposedly they're bringing a DC-3 back where I'm at.  A relatively well known one too.  I was at an event where one of the guys working on it (old skydiver) talked about it.  It was pretty cool to see the work and passion.  Plus, they accept volunteers and I'm a painter (yes with aircraft experience), so if I ever find myself bored maybe I can help get her back online.

Edited by Rustbucket350

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Holy shit.  That extra 10 minutes in the tunnel really sank in to grasp the meaning of a fluid environment.  I get it now.  Less about perfect body position and more reacting to the airflow with controlled movements.  I still suck at flying but at least I can fly.  Left 360s are fantastic.  Right 360s are slow.  Realized my body has a weird twist it wants to do naturally so I'll have to overcome that.

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7 hours ago, Rustbucket350 said:

Winds suck as a student.   All day out there today and yesterday.   Couldn't wait to get back up.   Never did.  Guess I'll wait since some of us have to work in the meantime 

Welcome to skydiving... Yeah, that's the way it is. And when you have enough jumps to jump in any winds, consider who else is jumping -- if it's all people who just got cleared to jump in all winds, stand down, like the more experienced jumpers, who don't want to get hurt.

There's no guarantee that you'll get hurt if you jump on one windy day. But the odds add up for most people,,,

Wendy P.

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8 hours ago, Rustbucket350 said:

Winds suck as a student.   All day out there today and yesterday.   Couldn't wait to get back up.   Never did.  Guess I'll wait since some of us have to work in the meantime 

Yup. Get used to it. The old joke that, as a student, I spent more time sitting on the picnic bench bitching about the weather than actually jumping contains 'more than just a bit' of truth.

Depending on the culture of the DZ, wind & weather holds can be very educational.

At the bigger DZ I jump at (lots of students) the instructors will gather up a group of students when jumping isn't happening, and sit and discuss/quiz all sorts of stuff. 
It's also a good time to get to know the rest of the community. 
The DZO there is a BIG promoter of the fun jumper community (cookouts, movie nights, competition events - The Hamm's Rigging Relays are hilarious - all that sort of stuff). Getting to know who folks are is a big step up for when you get your license. 

To echo and expand on what Wendy said (for when you get your license) - 
If the 'young hotshots' are still jumping and the 'crusty old guys' are sitting down, thing about it. Think hard about it.
If the 'crusty old guys' are grabbing lawn chairs and cameras and heading out to the landing area, REALLY  think about it.


"Where are you guys going?"
 
"We're gonna go watch the young'uns get some experience"

If you sit it out today, you can always jump tomorrow.
If you have to jump today, you may not jump again for a while. If ever.

Last, but not least, BEWARE THE WEATHER HOLD!!!

There are few things in this life more dangerous than a bored skydiver.

A few years ago at SDC Summerfest, weather hold games included 'creeper bowling'. 2 person teams. One pushed, one rode the creeper at inflatable bowling pins. Standard bowling scoring. 5 frames for a game. Silly but fun.

After it was all done, I heard Donavan (TI & airplane manager) remark:
"Wow. Weather hold shenanigans and we didn't need an ambulance. I'm impressed".

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2 hours ago, wolfriverjoe said:

A few years ago at SDC Summerfest, weather hold games included 'creeper bowling'. 2 person teams. One pushed, one rode the creeper at inflatable bowling pins. Standard bowling scoring. 5 frames for a game. Silly but fun.

That sounds awesome!

Wendy P.

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8 hours ago, Rustbucket350 said:

...preventing...

I love that word, that concept. I wish more people paid greater attention to it.

But in no way does it lessen the need to...

8 hours ago, Rustbucket350 said:

learn... how to deal with

Good job making use of your 'down' time.

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Yeah it's always great to soak up info, especially with (limited) experience because things start making more sense.  I liked how one of the instructors said "Don't be afraid of a malfunction, embrace it, and react".  Always next time to jump in better conditions.

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(edited)

Did another 10 in the tunnel just because it's kind of fun.  Still gotta stop fighting the air.  This week I'll redo level 3 (weather permitting).  Also found I do not like closed faced helmets at all.  Good thing I like the wind in my face.

Here ya go if you want a laugh

 

Thread should be called "Idiot learns to skydive" or "AFF for people who refuse to give up".

Edited by Rustbucket350

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6 minutes ago, wmw999 said:

The work was worth it, wasn’t it? You’re catching on to this stuff. Congrats!

Wendy P. 

Thank you!  This time felt different on the whole jump.  Less nerves, more I wanted to succeed.  Exit felt really solid when I climbed out the side.  Not even nervous.  I got to appreciate the view.  When I started to spin I said wait a second man... you know how to overcome that and I did.  I was actually disappointed on the canopy flight down because I thought they just grabbed on and stablized but no, I stopped spinning on my own.

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Rode the plane down for level 4.  Gray clouds everywhere, turbulence on the ride up.  Had a solid, clear spot at altitude but my gut said to not go which is weird because usually when it's my turn I just exit.  Anyway the others said they went through hail on the way down.  It sucked riding the plane down but I'd rather not do aff in hail.  Side note, I trust the dropzone, definitely trust my instructors, and there's no way they could have known there would be random hail.

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