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scottd818

Balloon JUMPS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Attached is a photo of a jump I did over Perris Valley/Sun City circa 1990, it looks pretty high doesn't it? I can almost make out my altimeter, it looks like the needle is just at the edge of the yellow zone so this is about 3,500 ft.
I probably had about 500 or so jumps at the time. How did I get face to earth and stable so quickly? I don't remember doing a front loop, but I'm amazed at how conventional my body position looks so close to the basket, too bad I didn't look up at the camera but I was probably so fricken scared I forgot about the camera boom.

It looks like I'm wearing pajamas but it's a funky homemade jump suit I used to wear for fun.
No helmet either...oh no! black death!

--Tom in So. Cal.

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If it is a fly-in, no problem - familiar landing area and/or familiar outs near the DZ.


So how does that work?



It's the possibility that is less likely to happen if you want to do a balloon jump but it's manageable. The winds must allow for it and then the balloon pilot will start at a certain point, drifting with the wind gaining altitude just timed to drop off them skydivers above their DZ B|
The sky is not the limit. The ground is.

The Society of Skydiving Ducks

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I've only done one and it was awesome.

I was NOT prepared for such a "droppy" feeling and the dead air made it pretty much impossible to control my body for at least 7 seconds before the air started flowing over my body. This scared me a little but it quickly dissipated.

My advice (based on your experience level too):

Make sure you're comfortable getting into a stable belly to earth position from unstable VERY easily.

Make sure your accuracy is good, even if you are landing on/near your DZ. There's a high chance you'll land off. Pick MULTIPLE outs BEFORE leaving the balloon.

Don't wear your camera. Even at 5k, should you not be able to get stable quick enough, an entanglement may not be cleared or you may be able to cut away in time. A 5k stable exit from an aircraft is not the same as a 5k exit from a balloon.

Don't go first. Watch other(s) go before you and watch where they land and if they landed safely.

Turn on your AAD :)

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It works like this: If the wind is from the north then take off north of the DZ and let the wind carry you over the DZ. If the wind is from the South take off from the south. etc. etc. Just requires a bit of planning and options on take off points.

I have only done one balloon jump and there were two separate exits of two people. Both descending from 5k. All four of us landed on the DZ.



Thanks for that. That requires a launching point at the correct distance and orientation from the DZ as well as nice steady winds which don't change much. Coming from a small island in a large ocean, thats not a common situation here. Also requires the balloon to be collasped and refilled to do multiple loads. Here they just launch from place X, drop load one, reload, relaunch...etc and your chance of being near the DZ is essentially zero.
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." -- Albert Einstein

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I've only done one and it was awesome.

I was NOT prepared for such a "droppy" feeling and the dead air made it pretty much impossible to control my body for at least 7 seconds before the air started flowing over my body. This scared me a little but it quickly dissipated.

My advice (based on your experience level too):

Make sure you're comfortable getting into a stable belly to earth position from unstable VERY easily.

Make sure your accuracy is good, even if you are landing on/near your DZ. There's a high chance you'll land off. Pick MULTIPLE outs BEFORE leaving the balloon.

Don't wear your camera. Even at 5k, should you not be able to get stable quick enough, an entanglement may not be cleared or you may be able to cut away in time. A 5k stable exit from an aircraft is not the same as a 5k exit from a balloon.

Don't go first. Watch other(s) go before you and watch where they land and if they landed safely.

Turn on your AAD :)



This is the kind of info im looking for!! Thanks!!

AAD will be on.

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Don't go first. Watch other(s) go before you and watch where they land and if they landed safely.



I wouldn't expect to have that much time. I would expect the balloon pilot to want all to leave within a fairly brief time.
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

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I did two at Eloy with Burner and have done several dozen right by my house since then. The Eloy jumps couldn't be easier, there is usually very little wind, you're landing at a dropzone with a ton of outs, and the pilot knows exactly what to do and expect.

Random jumping means helping the pilot out, spotting, getting landowner permission, issuing a NOTAM, scouting your landing area beforehand, and most of all being ready to cancel if something isn't right.

So far balloon jumps have been my favorite, it's good practice for dead air exit technique.

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Were the Eloy jumps morning jumps?

I have done 4 or 5 afternoon Balloon jumps with Burner and all of them we were exiting off field. We either took off from the DZ and drifted away, or we took the Short Bus out into never never land and met the balloon as some other passengers were hoping off.

A ton a fun, but always landing in some desert scrub, a field, or a dirt road. :D
"The restraining order says you're only allowed to touch me in freefall"
=P

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...circa 1990, it looks pretty high doesn't it? ...about 3,500 ft.

3.5K of the 90's is about 5.5k of 2010 :D



After following these forms for a few years I understand what you mean, but why is this so? Why has the current perception of "low" gotten higher?

Do canopys open slower nowadays? Are newer jumpers less skilled at quickly getting stable? Is it current training that discourages low (2k-3k) altitude exit skills? Are folks dying more from low altitude exits? Is it use of AAD's?

I was trained with the early AFF methods that required at least one low exit to graduate and I went on to do many low exits just for fun or for safety reasons (the plane was on fire at the time) I was not unusualy skilled, bold or scared either, it seems it was just more common to do jump and dumps then.

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...circa 1990, it looks pretty high doesn't it? ...about 3,500 ft.

3.5K of the 90's is about 5.5k of 2010 :D



After following these forms for a few years I understand what you mean, but why is this so? Why has the current perception of "low" gotten higher?

Do canopys open slower nowadays? Are newer jumpers less skilled at quickly getting stable? Is it current training that discourages low (2k-3k) altitude exit skills? Are folks dying more from low altitude exits? Is it use of AAD's?

I was trained with the early AFF methods that required at least one low exit to graduate and I went on to do many low exits just for fun or for safety reasons (the plane was on fire at the time) I was not unusualy skilled, bold or scared either, it seems it was just more common to do jump and dumps then.



More students trained AFF than static line.

More snivel in canopies mean people open higher.

Wider AAD use, combined w/ snivel means that more people open higher.
"What if there were no hypothetical questions?"

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Rope swings? you might not need the extra excitement.



Yep, what Tommy said. You're probably underestimating just how skeered you're going to be! For many people on their first balloon jump it's enough of a facer having to climb up and step off the basket, without fooling around with no damned ropes. :D

You're guaranteed to have a blast without overcomplicating things.

Not sure whether it was mentioned elsewhere, but one thing that catches people out is suddenly realising they don't know the wind direction for landing - there may be no indicators if you land a long way off the DZ. Make a note of it before you take off and pick a reference (e.g. the direction of the sun) that you'll be able to use wherever you are.

Enjoy!

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Don't go first. Watch other(s) go before you and watch where they land and if they landed safely.



I wouldn't expect to have that much time. I would expect the balloon pilot to want all to leave within a fairly brief time.



I've got 30+ balloon jumps over the last 4 years or so. A couple thoughts to add to what's be already said.

The pilots generally like the balloon to be descending at around 400fpm more or less (depending on their preference) before anyone exits. The rate will depend on how big the balloon is and how many jumpers are going to be leaving at one time.

Smaller balloons will only let one jumper leave at a time. Larger balloons can let up to 4 jumpers leave at a time. (And of course everywhere in between.)

After the first set of jumpers leave, the pilot will be checking and adjusting the balloon's rate of descent to what he is comfortable with. Remember he just unloaded a bunch of weight so his descent rate will change because of that. Coordinate with your pilot for when he is ready for you to exit.

Keep in mind that the balloon is drifting at the same speed as the wind. In an airplane, if you watch the first jumper leave, within seconds they are way, way behind the airplane. In a balloon, the first jumper will be very close to right directly beneath the balloon. If you are not the first to leave, you want to make sure the airspace below you is clear. If you are the first to leave, you want to make sure that those following you will make sure the airspace below them is clear.

Fun jumpers go first. Tandems go last because they open higher (duh). If they are all fun jumpers, they may want to coordinate opening altitudes or be patient and wait for the first jumper to fly their canopy away to clear the airspace below the balloon.

As you exit, use a 'step off' exit. Don't go diving off the edge of the basket (or step if it has one). Don't plant your feet on the edge and 'pivot' off the edge of the basket or step. You will flip over several times before gaining enough airspeed to stop the tumbling.

Backing out, off of the edge of the basket is fun to see the balloon as you fall away. Remember again not to 'pivot' with your feet planted on the edge of your launch point. But stepping off forward is fun too. Especially if you have someone to take your picture.

As stated before, very good canopy control is keen for landing into small tight spaces.

Try to know the ground wind direction and use that if possible. (I know, goes without saying.)

Hope that the chase vehicle is following along to pick you up. Carry a cell phone with you with the numbers of those in the chase vehicle.

Enjoy.

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...circa 1990, it looks pretty high doesn't it? ...about 3,500 ft.

3.5K of the 90's is about 5.5k of 2010 :D



After following these forms for a few years I understand what you mean, but why is this so? Why has the current perception of "low" gotten higher?

Do canopys open slower nowadays? Are newer jumpers less skilled at quickly getting stable? Is it current training that discourages low (2k-3k) altitude exit skills? Are folks dying more from low altitude exits? Is it use of AAD's?

I was trained with the early AFF methods that required at least one low exit to graduate and I went on to do many low exits just for fun or for safety reasons (the plane was on fire at the time) I was not unusualy skilled, bold or scared either, it seems it was just more common to do jump and dumps then.



More students trained AFF than static line.

More snivel in canopies mean people open higher.

Wider AAD use, combined w/ snivel means that more people open higher.



I'd also add more people "growing up" on turbine DZs where hop & pops are rarely done because of cost/traffic. When the cost differential between a hop & pop is just a couple bucks, the appeal of a hop & pop becomes much lower.

I started my skydiving career in the northwest and there were days when you took what you got weather-wise, and often that was 3K or so. So I got used to it. Pricing was pegged to altitude ($X to get on the plane and $X/1000 feet) so a hop & pop made more sense cost-wise.

Since I moved to great weather turbine land (also known as California) I think I've only done six hop and pops - 5 for a canopy course, and one when I was putting students out on their hop & pops.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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Were the Eloy jumps morning jumps?

I have done 4 or 5 afternoon Balloon jumps with Burner and all of them we were exiting off field. We either took off from the DZ and drifted away, or we took the Short Bus out into never never land and met the balloon as some other passengers were hoping off.

A ton a fun, but always landing in some desert scrub, a field, or a dirt road. :D



I always went first thing in the morning. We took off from the north landing area and I landed back there the first time, same takeoff the second day but stronger northwesterly winds and I ended up landing in the grass right next to the wind tunnel.

I think Burner does the early morning jumps and one late afternoon set while he's in Eloy.

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How many feet does it take to reach terminal from a subterminal exit?



A little over 1,400 feet.

Sparky



Awesome! So if the balloon goes to 5000 i will be at terminal by 3500. Which is where i usually dump at. Thanks for the good info. This might be the jump ive been most stoked about! I cant wait. It looks like there is gonna be 4 jumpers on the load and 6 Wuffos. I will NOT be wearing a camera. Just gonna have the woman film from in the balloon.

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How many feet does it take to reach terminal from a subterminal exit?



A little over 1,400 feet.

Sparky



Awesome! So if the balloon goes to 5000 i will be at terminal by 3500. Which is where i usually dump at. Thanks for the good info. This might be the jump ive been most stoked about! I cant wait. It looks like there is gonna be 4 jumpers on the load and 6 Wuffos. I will NOT be wearing a camera. Just gonna have the woman film from in the balloon.



12 sec. is a long time. I bet you pull before 10 sec. ;)

Sparky
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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