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Monkeyb

Failing a level sucks

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My fiancee' was the other student that Cajones referred to. When Cajones recommended the tunnel, I agreed that it would be very useful, and we should do it ASAP. A couple of hours later, she was in the tunnel, and I was watching from the door.

She got 10 minutes, broken into 5 2-minute sessions with 30 seconds between them. Lob from Elsinore went with her and did coaching from the window. The difference between her first 2-minute session to the last was huge. She got her body position and turns down, and she felt positive again. Just like you, she was feeling down after her troubles on level 2. Now she's ready to go back and give level 2 another try next weekend.

I don't know what to tell you about your $$$ issues. One thing to consider is how much "freefall" time you get in a tunnel session. To get the 10 minutes of "freefall" that she had in the tunnel, she'd have to do about a dozen skydives. Her tunnel time should make all of her remaining AFF jumps easier.

Whatever you choose to do, good luck.

Terry

P.S. I also felt like crap when I had to redo 2 of my training jumps. That was 800 jumps ago.
There are battered women? I've been eating 'em plain all of these years...

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Yes, I felt bad too when I failed 6 dummy ripcord pulls and 1 AFF level (4) but I know how you feel when you are learning something you just want to do so much and you just want to get in the air.

Don't be too hard on yourself though. I only know one person who went straight through the course and that extra time on one level gives you more time with your instructor which is only a good thing (they just happen to let slip other information and training into their programme to help you pass the level which comes in handy in the course later).

I recommend tunnel time. It really sorted me out. I spent half an hour in it over 2 days. With my first slot I was totally lame but by the time I was finished I was doing the breaststroke, controlling my height, clasping my hands together, flying with one hand behind my back and all sorts of other fun and games (Sally Hathaway: Thanks! - you rule!) So I would give the tunnel a shot. I bottled out of my first 3 second delay and nerves were always a problem for me: the tunnel was a safe environment where I could concentrate on what freefall actually feels like rather than having all the other stuff to think about. - Aside: if you spend too much time in the tunnel you become a tunnel junkie and you end up selling your own body parts for more time in there - the other is: don't lose altitude awareness on your jump after the tunnel.

As for the cash, ask your instructor. At my local DZ you can do the course and pay it back over 12 months which has helped a lot of the students here. Maybe that can be an option for you?

Stick with it bro, it's worth it. Yes, it's frustrating but the rewards are there. The irony of it is that as soon as you start jumping without an instructor it all seems so easy because you don't have to prove to anyone you can do it so you relax into it so much more.

Best of luck!! :)
Adam.

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I've never failed a jump. I guess I am one of the lucky ones. Then again, I only did one jump per day when I was on AFF, and I always spent days practicing and planning the dive in my mind before it.

But I've done level IV twice. I've done Level VII twice. Recurrency? I was just within the limits but I WANTED an instructor with me to teach me and give me guidance. Truct me, that first solo will be an exercise in self-doubt, i.e., "I'm backsliding. NO I'm not. Yes I am. Am Not. Am, too. Oh, shit. 6k. Lock on...." That kind of thing.

Never look at this as a failure. Look at it as a learning event. As Cajones said, you didn't pull at the right altitude. You missed that in your first post. ALWAYS ALWAYS look at what you did right and how you can maintain doing it right. ALWAYS ALWAYS look at everything you did wrong and then come up with a plan for how to improve on them.

Understanding of difficulties leads to finding solutions. And in the end, it will make you better in the air.


My wife is hotter than your wife.

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I did attempt to pull at the right altitude lawrocket. Cajones might have made a mistake in saying I forgot to pull. I did attempt to pull, but had trouble finding the ripcord. Either way I'm not here to dispute his decision, I agree with him 100% on his call for a repeat.

I will improve on my mistakes and go back up there better prepared next time. All I wanted to know is whether I should chance the retake since I have a great deal for $100, or wait until I have money for the wind tunnel.

Again, I appreciate the feedback and don't want to be misinterpreted as an obnoxious student. I just needed to vent a bit yesterday because I felt bad about the repeat and wanted some help in deciding my next course of action.

At this point I think I've decided to take up the $100 offer. I'll prepare myself mentally as much as possible this time, but I'm aware that mental preparation is no replacement for the wind tunnel.

I do plan on doing the tunnel next, regardless of whether I pass or fail my jump, but I feel guilty passing up this deal. I'll let you guys know how it goes this time around, and god willing I'll end up saving myself $80 :)
Thanks a bunch everyone!

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Understood. I wasn't aware that the pull was part of my reason for not passing. During the debrief the instructors emphasis was placed on my leg positions, and the same applies to the logbook entry, so I thought that the reason behind me not passing was the position of my legs.

I'm confident things will turn out better next time, and I'll be off to the wind tunnel afterwards.

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I did attempt to pull at the right altitude lawrocket. Cajones might have made a mistake in saying I forgot to pull. I did attempt to pull, but had trouble finding the ripcord. Either way I'm not here to dispute his decision, I agree with him 100% on his call for a repeat.



I don't think attempts matter, you actually have to deploy on your own. Level 3 for me was a release dive, might be the same for you. I doubt your AFF instructors want to release you until they know for sure you can deploy. After all, you might get away from them. The ground doesn't care that you couldn't find the ripcord.

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At this point I think I've decided to take up the $100 offer. I'll prepare myself mentally as much as possible this time, but I'm aware that mental preparation is no replacement for the wind tunnel.



I think it's a sweat deal, but I'd physically practice practice practice pulling on the ground days before you even get to the dropzone. Stuff a washrag in your backpocket and toss it 100 times or something and you'll nail your pull on the next dive. If you do something enough times your body builds muscle memory, the action becomes a reflex. Then it won't matter how freaked out your brain is, your body will know what to do when you think "pull".

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I'm going to add in a bit of additional background here...

I wasn't present for your debrief, but Taz and I did talk about corrective training before she met with you. I know her to be an excellent Instructor, so I feel confident she covered everything I recommended.

There was certainly much talk about corrective action with your legs. This is, again, quite common. I also want to clarify that your leg position was a small part of the reason I feel you are not ready to be released. It is not just that your legs are folded up behind you - it is that you are not correcting it. With your legs folded up, you are going to slide backwards across the sky - this can be a common contributor to uncontollable turns/spins. We were encouraged that you responded to signals on level II, but as soon as the corrective signal was removed, your legs returned to their poor position. This position had a large amplifying effect on your deteriorating head-high position at pull-time. If you were not "anchored" by your J/M's you would have back-looped.

As you rehearse for your next jump, make relaxed breathing part of your dive-flow. Everything should be nice and relaxed, with only a bit of positive pressure at the knees, extending your lower leg 45 to 60 degrees above your hips. Think of falling/rolling forward on a waterbed - easing your hips out into relative wind and allowing your whole body to be supported in that position. Maintain a straight spine, with practice pulls only creating movement in the arms and turns rotating the shoulders like the wings of an airplane around your spine. Take a breath as you feel the influence of the air across your body as we fine-tune you. Once your body is in its neutral position, maintain that feeling. Make the relaxed pace of your practice pulls exactly the same at pull-time. It is time to wave-off and deploy - not time to panic. Develop a relaxed body position and relaxed, natural pace and the sky will not seem like such a scary place.

Blue Skies,
Ed "Cajones" Dickinson

The laws of physics are strictly enforced.

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Hey, I repeated level 4 four times and level 5 three times. While it sucked financially I guarantee your instructors are not doing it to be mean they are doing it to help you save your life. One of my instructors, the nicest guy in the world, would turn angry when a student talked about "failing" a level; he said it is NOT a pass or fail situation it is a skill building exercise. Once you’ve built a particular set of skills then you can progress on to the next set. This is how you move from level to level. As a guy that repeated a number of levels I can assure you that if you sat your legs on your ass and failed to pull for yourself you are going to repeat the level. Your instructors gave you good input on this forum and I’m sure better in person. I’m a low timer with 37 jumps so I hesitate to give you advice when your instructors can do better but I will share with you how I went from repeating levels to blowing through AFF and my coaching jumps for my A License. I did some tunnel time. It was the best money I ever spent, I went from not being able to control myself properly in the air to not having to think about it at all. I went from being, frankly, scared and stiff in the air to being comfortable because I knew I could control myself. As I said AFF was a piece of cake afterward.

Best of luck to you and finally the one bit of advice everyone gave me- Persistence pays off just keep at it you will get there.
"We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things." CP

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You didn't die, so you didn't fail.

Get that into your head.

Go back and do it again...Think about your legs and pay attention to the signals.

Do it.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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(Just read the first post)

Man, don't sweat it. I failed two levels during AFF myself. Everyone's gotta start somewhere. Just relax up there, stay calm, and do what your instructors are expecting you to do. B| Piece a cake.

-Kramer

The FAKE KRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMER!!!!!!!!!

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When I was blowing my practice ripcord pulls the only way I finally passed was by hitting a swimming pool and do 100 perfect practice pulls in the pool. That trained my body so even while stressed during the jump when I thought "pull" it just knew what to do without me going through the steps mentally.



That's a pretty good idea, especially since air is a fluid just like water. Move you arm without doing the opposite with you other arm is going to cause you to spin, just like it would in the air. Thank you for this little tidbit Mark.

To the OP, don't get discouraged man, it gets SOOO much better. My AFF progression is 7 jumps with an instructor, 7 jumps with a coach, and then solos w/ either the choice of a instructor or a coach until your A-license. I just finished my Lvl 6 which is backflips & tracking and it was a hoot.

Keep up the hard work!

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I failed "up and down" (hug the ball) twice



"long and flat is where it's at"

beach ball is for old timers that refuse to learn new techniques imo


as for "failing" during learning - it's not easy for every single person on every single jump - key is to take the best of each jump and learn those lessons and then to go do it again

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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Don't forget you failed to pull...



thank goodness for this clarification - the OP's description sounded like a pass to me (failing to extend the legs all the way isn't necessarily a fail if the student demonstrated some level of leg awareness and ability to adjust, I'd think - even if not absolutely perfect) so very confused about the result (now I see the whole picture with the descriptions - maintaining a correction is important also - I don't want to let go if the student is chronically with legs on butt - sometimes you do and trust in ability to chase them down so they can learn, but trimming them out is SO preferably)


To the OP - not pulling at altitude is a required redo no matter what level we're on - super important - congrats on attempting - next time actually do it...:P

doesn't much matter if you call it a 'fail' or an 'opportunity' or whatever - what matters is that you take the best learning that you can from it and practice doing it correctly (don't dwell on the mistakes - mental training requires reinforcing the positives). have fun, work with your instructors and do it again. tunnel is great - if you invest in tunnel time - get coaching and about a half hour of time - with that, you'll pass all the freefall stuff easily so you can focus more on altitude awareness, gear stuff, and canopy control - but you don't NEED it, students passed and learned long before there were tunnels.

Your instructor is now on this thread - don't you think airing it out in the forums is the wrong thing to do when a good instructor has to respond here instead of with you in person?

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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Your instructor is now on this thread - don't you think airing it out in the forums is the wrong thing to do when a good instructor has to respond here instead of with you in person?



The OP was 7 years ago and the user's profile indicates an A number, so I'd say they worked it out. ;)
"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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Think of what people do before there was wind tunnels! just go relax jump, take the $100 discounted jump. so waht if you have to repeat still be a lot cheaper than tunnel time jus relax not a big deal
http://web.mac.com/ac057a/iWeb/AC057A/H0M3.html

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I feel your pain. I'm in the beginning stages of my AFF progression. I did two jumps on Sunday. The first one was nearly text book--two jump masters--great exit, totally stable in free fall when they let go of me, deployed on time, great landing. Second jump--not so great. I had one jumpmaster. In free fall I began spinning. I knew I should arch, but my biggest mistake was in not relaxing, that's why I started spinning in the first place. I never got out of the spin, but did deploy on time. Failed the jump and now I have to repeat. Tunnel time is not an option for me, so I will get back in the plane and try to do better.

I am falling more in love with skydiving every time I go to the DZ and am determined to get my license. I won't lie though-I am stressed about failing another jump. Feels like two steps forward, one back.

Hang in there and good luck!

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