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Gimpymoo

So... my level 1 AFF was a thing

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Posted (edited)

Hi all.

I saw all these videos of people doing their level 1, doing gang signs, having a great time.

"Yeah, I will have some of that" I thought.

Completed groundschool, 5 days later, on my first lift, feel the nerves increasing. 14,000ft, the door opens, I literally stumble over heading towards the door, slight hesitation with my exit and when I finally go, my arch is none existent.

The poor instructors are giving me the hand signals, in that moment, may as well have been smoke signals, I knew what they were trying to tell me but my brain was like "Yeah, I see ya... no clue though, sorry"

Did my practice pulls, then lock onto the altimeter... think about going for the pull to deploy but by the time my brain had figured all this out, one of the instructors had deployed for me and up in the air I went :)

So yes, my level 1 happened but was far from the "Disney like experience" I had hoped for, more like a "Carry On".

I feel soo much more confident though having got that out of the way and know what I need to do to correct my mistakes, just feel such a wally but all good fun.

For anyone else who sucked at their level 1 and I hope nobody sucked as bad as me, your are definitely not alone.

Here is the video, hopefully gives a few laughs but most importantly, it helps some other poor soul realise it can always be worse.

AFF level 1

Thanks to all the amazing instructors out there helping keep us noobs safe and help us learn how to be safe.

Blue Skies.

Edited by Gimpymoo

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Not too dissimilar to my Level 1 - primary instructor told me after the jump that I got confused when my alti went to 12000' (therefore showing zero) and I kept asking 'what height are we at?' like a bloody fuckawee bird. Then to the door...no check in, check out etc. just straight out! Don't remember too much about the freefall, until I was under canopy.  I put it all down to extreme hyperventilating nervousness....still it did improve from then on and I now have over 900 jumps in my logbook which, in the overall scheme of things, is not that many but is a big deal for me. Blue Skies and Vasbyt. 

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55 minutes ago, MickPatch said:

Level 1 is a sensory overload for most people, very few deploy their own pilot chute.

The question for you is : " did you enjoy yourself?"

 

I had a blast.

Looking forward to putting in the work and hopefully one day becoming a competent Skydiver.

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You seem to remember much of it, which puts you ahead of a lot of people.  At least you weren't screaming and flailing, you didn't pee your pants, or you didn't go fetal.  Are you going to go again?  If so, and seeing as how you survived, you passed the most important part.

BTW don't wait too long for the next jump.  The butterflies are reduced, but the longer you wait the more they come back.

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14 hours ago, Gimpymoo said:

For anyone else who sucked at their level 1 and I hope nobody sucked as bad as me, your are definitely not alone.

I never had a level 1, but I did have a LOT of practice pulls before I got to freefall.  (And then four years later I was teaching AFF.)

If you made it through the dive, were stable most of the time, and did OK under canopy, it was a successful dive.  Next time you'll be more aware.

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(edited)
17 hours ago, kleggo said:

a friend of mine tried to use her left hand to reach around to the right side to deploy BOC. Strange stuff happens

I definitely empathise, as @MickPatch said, it is a sensory overload. Until that first jump, I did not understand what that meant.

I thought the Tandem I did would help which it did to some degree but when going solo, soo much is on your mind that first jump, I was not thinking 100%.

14 hours ago, GeorgiaDon said:

You seem to remember much of it, which puts you ahead of a lot of people.  At least you weren't screaming and flailing, you didn't pee your pants, or you didn't go fetal.  Are you going to go again?  If so, and seeing as how you survived, you passed the most important part.

BTW don't wait too long for the next jump.  The butterflies are reduced, but the longer you wait the more they come back.

Going fetal, blimey. No, was not that bad at all.

Definitely going again. You are right, already less anxious about next jump, hopefully go Friday if open.

11 hours ago, billvon said:

I never had a level 1, but I did have a LOT of practice pulls before I got to freefall.  (And then four years later I was teaching AFF.)

If you made it through the dive, were stable most of the time, and did OK under canopy, it was a successful dive.  Next time you'll be more aware.

Thanks. I was more frustrated with myself after the dive but on reflection, I jumped out of a plane, had a great time and thanks to my instructors, I felt safe at all times.

Loved the canopy ride.

Forgot to mention that had a line twist thrown in, remembered training, kept cool, not a problem.

Was a little unsure of landing procedure as in holding area and where/when to turn but was guided on on the walkie talkie and that made it soo easy.

I flared too early... Thought the ground was closer than it was and thought radio had stopped working - lol. So just held the flare and dropped maybe 4ft to the ground. Walked away with a big smile so that was a great jump, loved the canopy ride though.

Edited by Gimpymoo

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You would be what I considered a dream student — you had fun, remembered much of the jump, and are planning on what to do to improve. Remember that all the good stuff that happens on each jump is also part of your experience, and that in the overall arc of your life, the way more important part.

Wendy P. 

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3 hours ago, chuckakers said:

If skydiving was easy, the boring people would do it and we'd go do something else.

Think less, fly more.

Flaring 4 feet too high is a minor error when it comes to landings.

As for the radio quitting ... it is more like your ears quit listening when you got highly stressed just before landing.

I have radioed down hundreds of students and dozens of them complained that the radio quit a few seconds before landing. Meanwhile I am helping another student daisy-chain their lines and listening to the the next student's radio (less than 50 meters/yards away).

The second student also complained that their radio quit, even though both of us heard it clearly from a few meters away.

Hah!

Hah!

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(edited)
8 minutes ago, riggerrob said:

As for the radio quitting ... it is more like your ears quit listening when you got highly stressed just before landing.

Please do not misunderstand, the radio did not quit... I was hearing nothing and thought the ground was closer than it was so THOUGHT it was not working.

When I had committed to the flare, I then heard the instructor go "Flare Flare Flare", at that moment, I knew I was just a fraction too early and prepared for the landing.

Lesson learned, just have trust in your instructors.

Edited by Gimpymoo
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12 hours ago, Gimpymoo said:

Please do not misunderstand, the radio did not quit... I was hearing nothing and thought the ground was closer than it was so THOUGHT it was not working.

When I had committed to the flare, I then heard the instructor go "Flare Flare Flare", at that moment, I knew I was just a fraction too early and prepared for the landing.

Lesson learned, just have trust in your instructors.

I can relate. 

There happened to be video in the LZ during my first jump, the cameraman having ironically dcided to shoot over the shoulder of the instructor on duty. I never saw the signals this instructor gave me (visual signals at the time) and therefore I flared when I judged it time.

Due to circumstances I never got to see the video until I had 30 jumps or so.
I actually gasped out loud along with the people in the video when I saw myself flaring at treetop height. :-)

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(edited)
2 hours ago, Baksteen said:

I actually gasped out loud along with the people in the video when I saw myself flaring at treetop height. :-)

^.^

It is deceptive though on that first jump when you have nothing to relate to, I honestly thought my feet were about to brush the grass... was rather funny when I flared and expected grass and NOTHING, and I realised at that moment "oops".

Tree top height though... :ohmygod: Did you hold the flare? How was the landing?

Edited by Gimpymoo

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On 4/14/2022 at 11:40 AM, Gimpymoo said:

^.^

It is deceptive though on that first jump when you have nothing to relate to, I honestly thought my feet were about to brush the grass... was rather funny when I flared and expected grass and NOTHING, and I realised at that moment "oops".

Tree top height though... :ohmygod: Did you hold the flare? How was the landing?

Yes, I held the flare as I was taught and I made an adequate PLF. What with the adrenalin of a first jump on the one hand and lacking any frame of reference whatsoever on the other, I didn't notice anything untoward. Also this was sixteen years ago (damn - when did I become a dinosaur?). But in hindsight I am glad my (then) 85 kg ass was suspended under a nicely forgiving and easygoing Manta 288 rather than something smaller and snazzier. :-)

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Any tips for making sure I pass my level 3?

The level 2 seems same as level 1 in the sense "You cannot fail", for the most part.

Just want to make sure I pass my level 3.

Have been practicing my arch Infront of a camera connected to the TV and trying to get the muscle memory.

Cannot afford to be failing my jumps at £170 a time for retakes at the lower levels ^.^

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7 hours ago, Gimpymoo said:

Any tips for making sure I pass my level 3?

IF you were planning on doing any tunnel time as part of your training, just prior to the release dive is one of the better times. Not necessary, but it helps. Otherwise, just be relaxed and fluid, not tense and rigid.

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7 hours ago, Gimpymoo said:

Any tips for making sure I pass my level 3?

The level 2 seems same as level 1 in the sense "You cannot fail", for the most part.

Just want to make sure I pass my level 3.

Have been practicing my arch Infront of a camera connected to the TV and trying to get the muscle memory.

Cannot afford to be failing my jumps at £170 a time for retakes at the lower levels ^.^

Stop worrying about the money. Worrying will only make you tense up and mess up a dive.

The schedule is written for the perfect student while most students require an "extra" dive or two complete all of the targeted learning objectives. I have concluded dozens of student logbook entries with "Go for a modified Level 2 with a few more practice pilot-chute touches near the top."

When I suggest more PPCTs, that is because leading Canadian skydiving schools have been equipping students with hand-deploy pilot-chutes for more than 40 years.

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