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majormajors

Fledgling AFF grad

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Well, I did it. After four consecutive weekends of AFF jumps, I've been signed off for solo jumping and I couldn't be more excited!

I know that I still have a lot of skills to develop and tons of shit to learn, but I couldn't feel more accomplished. I had a really rough level 3 that had to be repeated and I started to worry that I wouldn't be able to make myself get back in the plane after that. Once I pushed those feelings aside and just focused on doing what I needed to do, my remaining jumps just got better and better as I went.

I can't even describe the feeling I had during my grad jump. The diving exit and two clean backflips felt so natural and smooth. I don't even know what I was so worried about.

I really appreciate how supportive and knowledgeable everyone on this forum is. Reading about the troubles of other students and seeing the helpful replies really helped me get my head into the right place when I started to doubt myself.

For anyone else who is going through a student program or thinking about starting one, allow me to relay these words from one of my AFF instructors: "One bad jump is no big deal."

It may seem obvious, but it really helped me a lot.

Thanks.

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For anyone else who is going through a student program or thinking about starting one, allow me to relay these words from one of my AFF instructors: "One bad jump is no big deal."

It may seem obvious, but it really helped me a lot.



Congrats! Let the fun begin!!!!

I can certainly agree with the AFFI's comment.
The first time I got on a big way, I was a bundle of nerves. But then I watched a couple of guys with 8000+ jumps screw up and I thought to myself, "Well, hell, self...if THEY can screw up there's no need to be overly worried about ME screwing up.
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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majormajors

Well, I did it. After four consecutive weekends of AFF jumps, I've been signed off for solo jumping and I couldn't be more excited!

I know that I still have a lot of skills to develop and tons of shit to learn, but I couldn't feel more accomplished. I had a really rough level 3 that had to be repeated and I started to worry that I wouldn't be able to make myself get back in the plane after that. Once I pushed those feelings aside and just focused on doing what I needed to do, my remaining jumps just got better and better as I went.

I can't even describe the feeling I had during my grad jump. The diving exit and two clean backflips felt so natural and smooth. I don't even know what I was so worried about.

I really appreciate how supportive and knowledgeable everyone on this forum is. Reading about the troubles of other students and seeing the helpful replies really helped me get my head into the right place when I started to doubt myself.

For anyone else who is going through a student program or thinking about starting one, allow me to relay these words from one of my AFF instructors: "One bad jump is no big deal."

It may seem obvious, but it really helped me a lot.

Thanks.



Congrats!

Now its on to the evil, 3.5k hop and pop! /maniacal laugh
You stop breathing for a few minutes and everyone jumps to conclusions.

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D-dog mentioned Hop & Pops.

Suggestion:
Before you start on H&Ps, practice stable exits from altitude until you have the confidence AND the skill to exit stable at low altitude.

The last thing you want to do is tumble, spin and flip on exit at low altitude.

The purpose behind doing the H&Ps for your A license is two-fold:
- acclimate you to low exits
- prepare you for emergency bail-outs
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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One more quick note about hop n pops - the first one you do is from 5500ft, which at this point is somewhat above your normal pull altitude, and not really that big of a deal. Once you do that, there is another one from 3500ft, which is still not that big of a deal, but can be more intimidating to a new AFF grad.

Otherwise, Pops is right, get good, clean, stable exits down from full altitude on your other jumps before moving to hop n pops.

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popsjumper

D-dog mentioned Hop & Pops.

Suggestion:
Before you start on H&Ps, practice stable exits from altitude until you have the confidence AND the skill to exit stable at low altitude.

The last thing you want to do is tumble, spin and flip on exit at low altitude.

The purpose behind doing the H&Ps for your A license is two-fold:
- acclimate you to low exits
- prepare you for emergency bail-outs


Well, I'm presuming he's still going to be coached and they wouldn't just throw him out at 3.5k without some additional skills... :)
You stop breathing for a few minutes and everyone jumps to conclusions.

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Well, I'm presuming he's still going to be coached and they wouldn't just throw him out at 3.5k without some additional skills... :)



Well, yes. We hope so. You'd be surprised how many AFFIs, Coaches and local yahoos want to, and do, let them, and tell them, to do just that.

I hope you don't think I'm making this up as I go, do you?
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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majormajors

My last few AFF jumps, I managed to get into a stable arch within a few seconds of exit, but I definitely want a few more jumps from 13k before I even think about exiting at 5.5. :)



Getting stable "within a few seconds of exit" is not all you want. That's not good enough. Instant stability is what you are shooting for.
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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popsjumper

***My last few AFF jumps, I managed to get into a stable arch within a few seconds of exit, but I definitely want a few more jumps from 13k before I even think about exiting at 5.5. :)



Getting stable "within a few seconds of exit" is not all you want. That's not good enough. Instant stability is what you are shooting for.

Haha, I know. I was sort of trying to jocularly demonstrate that I'm really unprepared for a low altitude exit. :P

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popsjumper


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Well, I'm presuming he's still going to be coached and they wouldn't just throw him out at 3.5k without some additional skills... :)



Well, yes. We hope so. You'd be surprised how many AFFIs, Coaches and local yahoos want to, and do, let them, and tell them, to do just that.

I hope you don't think I'm making this up as I go, do you?



Andy, high is good practice, I agree but I chuckle about the "yahoo" part and thinking about my SL training.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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popsjumper


Getting stable "within a few seconds of exit" is not all you want. That's not good enough. Instant stability is what you are shooting for.



It wasn't until after I got my A license that I started having instantly stable exits. Some of the things you take for granted after nine hundred million jumps take a few while for some of us noobs to learn!

The 5.5K hop-and-pop still wasn't bad -- there was enough time to get stable and pull. I did a bunch more for the canopy course, too. I think at least a few of those I dove out ass-to-the-wind, which didn't help my stability that much. I've favored the dive-out exit since I learned it, but retrospectively climbing out would probably have given me more stable exits at that experience level.

Now I can do a stable exit in a back-fly, which was something that never even crossed my mind as a possible feat while I was a student. Stable exits and everything my instructors had been trying to tell me about relative wind just clicked one day and I was able to do it. You get there, just some of us (me) are slower learners than others. Fortunately, I'm not competing with anyone!
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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Some of the things you take for granted after nine hundred million jumps take a few while for some of us noobs to learn!


Sorry...not taking anything for granted....other than the likelihood that AFFIs and Coaches and local yahoos are telling young jumpers to do H&Ps ignoring the main reason for doing so...and that most young jumpers wouldn't know to even ask about these things.

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The 5.5K hop-and-pop still wasn't bad -- there was enough time to get stable and pull.


Two things:
- there we go concentrating on time when we should be concentrating on altitude.
- the only thing that jump prepared you for was bailing at 5.5K. It did nothing to train you for bailing at 2K....or less.

Quote

I did a bunch more for the canopy course, too. I think at least a few of those I dove out ass-to-the-wind, which didn't help my stability that much.


Fun? Yes. Learning for low-altitude bail-out? No.
Question, Did your CC guy even ask if you bail stable?

Quote


I've favored the dive-out exit since I learned it, but retrospectively climbing out would probably have given me more stable exits at that experience level.


Yep. Head first with stability AND head up with stability is what we need to learn...both of them. When the shit hits the fan, you may not get a choice. Climbing out (poised exit) is useless in an emergency. You won't get a chance to do that...the guy behind you will be knocking you off before you realize what happened.

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Now I can do a stable exit in a back-fly, which was something that never even crossed my mind as a possible feat while I was a student.


Excellent!
Now think about doing it with a couple of practice throws in that position. There's a problem with that...do you see it?
Hint: Remember your aircraft emergency procedures?
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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popsjumper


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Two things:
- there we go concentrating on time when we should be concentrating on altitude.



That's how success is measured for the A license is it not? Deploy in less than 56 seconds.

Quote

- the only thing that jump prepared you for was bailing at 5.5K. It did nothing to train you for bailing at 2K....or less.


I'm not practicing going straight to reserve (with an actual pull) for anyone!

Quote

Question, Did your CC guy even ask if you bail stable?



In my canopy courses this has not been a requirement.


"The ground does not care who you are. It will always be tougher than the human behind the controls."

~ CanuckInUSA

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popsjumper


Sorry...not taking anything for granted....other than the likelihood that AFFIs and Coaches and local yahoos are telling young jumpers to do H&Ps ignoring the main reason for doing so...and that most young jumpers wouldn't know to even ask about these things.



They specifically told us they wanted us to do one early so that we don't completely freak out if an emergency bail-out is required. They also mentioned in AFF ground school an altitude below which we should go directly for our reserve in AFF. I don't recall if it was 2000 feet or if it was higher for us AFF students, but if I find myself in freefall below 2000 feet, I'm going for my reserve.

Quote


Two things:
- there we go concentrating on time when we should be concentrating on altitude.
- the only thing that jump prepared you for was bailing at 5.5K. It did nothing to train you for bailing at 2K....or less.



They're approximately the same thing. Exiting the plane a few thousand feet lower doesn't change how long it takes to cover the first thousand feet or the subsequent thousands of feet, and I know how long THAT takes. Exiting at 5500, I have 15 seconds before I reach my current deploy altitude. Even though my early exits tended to be awkward, I was always stable within the first thousand feet. At 5500 feet, I knew I had... time to get stable. At 2000 feet, I probably would have thrown the reserve from an unstable body position a couple seconds after leaving the plane. Never had a chance to test it.

What does an AFFI with a student do in that situation? Just out of curiosity...

These days I can throw a couple seconds after leaving the plane. I think it was 5 on my last high pull, and only because I'm paranoid about deploying closer to the plane than that.

Quote


Fun? Yes. Learning for low-altitude bail-out? No.
Question, Did your CC guy even ask if you bail stable?



That wasn't a requirement of our CC. I opted to take the course about halfway through my coach jumps because canopy flight and landing was the thing I felt like I was the worst at, at that point. I knew I had time to get stable before pulling, so I did. I did tend to deploy a few hundred feet lower than the more experienced people in the CC course due to this, but it wasn't a huge liability. I still had time to get my exercises done and set up a pattern on each jump.

I'm planning to take another one when my canopy comes in, and that bit will be a lot easier now, I think. As long as I remember to cock my pilot chute.

Quote


Yep. Head first with stability AND head up with stability is what we need to learn...both of them. When the shit hits the fan, you may not get a choice. Climbing out (poised exit) is useless in an emergency. You won't get a chance to do that...the guy behind you will be knocking you off before you realize what happened.



True, but in general I feel like I should have stuck with the climb-out exit facing the wing until I could exit stably. Retrospectively I think I'd have learned stable exits more quickly had I done so.

Quote


Quote

Now I can do a stable exit in a back-fly, which was something that never even crossed my mind as a possible feat while I was a student.


Excellent!
Now think about doing it with a couple of practice throws in that position. There's a problem with that...do you see it?
Hint: Remember your aircraft emergency procedures?



Well it's not something I'm likely to be doing in an emergency, or in a hop and pop. Under 2000 feet is not a good time for freeflying. My objectives are get out of the plane, get a flyable canopy over my head and land safely. I'm confident I can do that.
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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DocPop

***

Quote

Two things:
- there we go concentrating on time when we should be concentrating on altitude.



That's how success is measured for the A license is it not? Deploy in less than 56 seconds.

We were talking H&Ps so, No...well, sorta...there used to be a 5-second requirement for exit to pull but that has been done away with...I have no earthly clue as to why. Now it's only exit altitude. Ultimate success is measured by landing without a splat.


I'm not practicing going straight to reserve (with an actual pull) for anyone!

Good! I just thought I'd throw in "practice" so that the youngsters didn't get the idea to actually pull at that time.
;)

Quote

Question, Did your CC guy even ask if you bail stable?



In my canopy courses this has not been a requirement.

Did they even ask?


My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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popsjumper

******

Quote

Two things:
- there we go concentrating on time when we should be concentrating on altitude.



That's how success is measured for the A license is it not? Deploy in less than 56 seconds.

We were talking H&Ps so, No...well, sorta...there used to be a 5-second requirement for exit to pull but that has been done away with...I have no earthly clue as to why. Now it's only exit altitude. Ultimate success is measured by landing without a splat.


I'm not practicing going straight to reserve (with an actual pull) for anyone!

Good! I just thought I'd throw in "practice" so that the youngsters didn't get the idea to actually pull at that time.
;)

Quote

Question, Did your CC guy even ask if you bail stable?



In my canopy courses this has not been a requirement.

Did they even ask?



(Clearly 56 was a typo up there!)

I didn't know the 5 second rule had been revoked. Seems a little odd. If all that is required to pass this test is to not die then I'd say we're not being stringent enough.

And to the Canopy Course question - no, it never came up. We talked about exit order and delays, but not a stable exit.
"The ground does not care who you are. It will always be tougher than the human behind the controls."

~ CanuckInUSA

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They specifically told us they wanted us to do one early so that we don't completely freak out if an emergency bail-out is required.


Excellent advice. Learning stable exit as quickly as possible is best.

Quote

They also mentioned in AFF ground school an altitude below which we should go directly for our reserve in AFF. I don't recall if it was 2000 feet or if it was higher for us AFF students, but if I find myself in freefall below 2000 feet, I'm going for my reserve.


Just FYI...here's my school-of-thought on this.
We were discussing emergency bailouts. WRT emergency bailouts, that main/reserve decision threshold is a personal one. Everyone has their own threshold. You make that decision on the plane before you exit.
When training students about this, I ask them to pick an altitude that would be comfortable for them. 2,500 ft is the one picked most often by far and away because that is the Decision Altitude that they've already learned. What if they picked significantly higher or lower? I’d get them to reconsider that using pointed questions to get them to come to a more reasonable decision. I tell them they have a thresshold and they must develop a plan for emergency bailouts. That plan includes making the main/reserve decision on the plane. I tell them that as they get more comfortable in the sky and gain more situational awareness, that threshold will probably change.

Quote


Two things:
- there we go concentrating on time when we should be concentrating on altitude.
- the only thing that jump prepared you for was bailing at 5.5K. It did nothing to train you for bailing at 2K....or less.



Quote

They're approximately the same thing.


No, there’s a difference of 3.5K of altitude that needs to be considered.
Did I mention Time Distortion?

Again…talking about emergency exits. Common misconception depending on time in freefall….especially so in high-stress emergency situations.

Quote

Exiting the plane a few thousand feet lower doesn't change how long it takes to cover the first thousand feet or the subsequent thousands of feet, and I know how long THAT takes.



What it does change is how quickly your are going to meet the planet. Fairly important, I suppose. Didn’t I mention Time Distortion? Do you have an idea how many have gone in thinking they had “time”?

Quote

What does an AFFI with a student do in that situation? Just out of curiosity...


No comment.

Quote

These days I can throw a couple seconds after leaving the plane. I think it was 5 on my last high pull, and only because I'm paranoid about deploying closer to the plane than that.



Good stuff…you’re getting there. Keep practicing.

Quote

I knew I had time to get stable before pulling…..


Well, I’ve explained the need for altitude awareness.

Quote

Well it's not something I'm likely to be doing in an emergency, or in a hop and pop. Under 2000 feet is not a good time for freeflying.


You missed the point…free flying, no…tumbling out unstable (back to wind) was the point. But I’ll let this one go since you’ve indicated that you have developed a little skill on exiting stable.
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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popsjumper


What it does change is how quickly your are going to meet the planet. Fairly important, I suppose. Didn’t I mention Time Distortion? Do you have an idea how many have gone in thinking they had “time”?




http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=4495234;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;;page=unread#unread
Like this guy? :)
You stop breathing for a few minutes and everyone jumps to conclusions.

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popsjumper


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Well, I'm presuming he's still going to be coached and they wouldn't just throw him out at 3.5k without some additional skills... :)



Well, yes. We hope so. You'd be surprised how many AFFIs, Coaches and local yahoos want to, and do, let them, and tell them, to do just that.

I hope you don't think I'm making this up as I go, do you?



I find it disturbing that you're not :o
You stop breathing for a few minutes and everyone jumps to conclusions.

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