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Xtine

Did an accident shake your confidence?

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I've biffed in a few times and limped away... On the ride up on the next load I was a bit apprehensive as to whether or not I was going to do the same thing again which ruined my skydive because I was more concerned with landing than the skydive itself which in turn made me tense. I've never broken a bone, but I jokingly say the first time I do it will be from skydiving. I doubt biffing in really counts as an accient though.
Millions of my potential children died on your daughters' face last night.

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Did an accident shake your confidence?



I haven't had an injury worse than a sprain so far, knock on wood. My first reserve ride got my attention, as it was a terminal velocity total on my main that had me under reserve below 1,000 feet. But I made a point of getting back on the horse by jumping again the same day, and that took care of it. What has shaken me more is seeing a couple of bad accidents and losing a couple of friends in accidents. You either get past it or you don't.

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Yeah, I was a bit freaked out when I had my first reserve ride, jumped again twice that day. Scariest was having a pilot chute hesitation (that I didn't deal with very well), that genuinely scared the crap out of me. Jumped again after but it certainly makes you think about the risks.

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Yeah, I was a bit freaked out when I had my first reserve ride, jumped again twice that day. Scariest was having a pilot chute hesitation (that I didn't deal with very well), that genuinely scared the crap out of me. Jumped again after but it certainly makes you think about the risks.



Not to sound sadistic or anything, but it's good these things happen... it keeps us on our toes and revives those thoughts about risk that might of otherwise escaped... I think skydiving is a lot like swimming in large waves on the ocean.. have respect for the power but don't fear it.
Millions of my potential children died on your daughters' face last night.

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Yeah, I agree. It's a wake up call. The hesitation happened a couple of times, I had an experienced friend jump my rig & he had one too so I replaced the pilot chute. I was a bit of a wreck after that incident. I usually am not scared, I'm more respectful. I think I've learned this behavior from riding motorcycles for a few years.

Brian Germain has a lot to say about this & it's really good information. The Canopy & its Pilot is definitely worth reading for this reason as well as actual piloting information.

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When I was on crutches with a couple of broken bones in my foot I spent my time at the dz packing sport rigs (it was nice because it kept me around the sport and I made a few bucks to put on my jump account). Plus since I was packing all kinds of different rigs and canopies I learned a lot about the gear that's out there and since I was always around the packing mat I got to know the other jumpers a bit more too.

As for the fear and self-doubt; the only way to deal with that is head on. Learn from your mistakes then get your gear on and go make a jump.

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you rodeo guys scare me.. I have seen it on TV.. looks dangerous !!!!;)


...............................................................

I quit skydiving back in the 70's and started rodeoing. I specialized in bareback, but have been on a couple bulls. There was a lot of similiarities between skydivers and those who rodeo. Many skydiver are a little crazy, and so are those who ride broncs or bulls.

I'd often tell stories of back when I was a skydiver to some wild looking bull rider. He'd usually get big eyes and say that really sounds scary. Some would say I'd never do that, (because of the danger)....yet they were entering rodeos and riding bulls nearly every weekend, without much thought to that danger.

To tell you the truth, I think rodeoing was a lot scarier than skydiving was. You truly had to be mentally a physically tough to live that life.

Getting hurt was part of the game.....

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I had a canopy collapse due to turbulence at about 15-20 feet above the ground. I broke a tib/fib/ankle and had a couple surgeries and the resulting hardware in my leg. Never once did I doubt I was jumping again. Had the accident in October and I was back in the air in January (and I live in the cold mid west).

I have had friends die in this sport and have seen way more than I would have liked to over the past 15 years. I am a skydiver and I don't think anything could keep me from being what I am.
Kim Mills
USPA D21696
Tandem I, AFF I and Static Line I

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To tell you the truth, I think rodeoing was a lot scarier than skydiving was. You truly had to be mentally a physically tough to live that life.





I use to jump with a Bullfighter back in the 70's, I think he got into skydiving to unwind!

Toughest guy I ever met ~ with or without make-up. ;)










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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I have enjoyed hearing everyone's stories, and it has also opened my eyes to what can and will eventually happen. I don't have any injuries yet from skydiving, only 29 jumps so far. I think the thing that attracted me to this sport was adrenaline and the almost unavoidable risk of injury which is pretty much unavoidable with any adrenaline sport. My other hobby is MMA fighting, a sport where it's not if you are going to get hurt, but when! Broken nose, black eyes, busted ribs 3 times so far.

What has this done for my skydiving? Mainly it has to do with my landings, I'm not scared of the ground, I know how to fall to protect myself, but I'm prepared for that fact that eventually something will happen. When it does, I will heal and get back on the horse!

P.S. People who ride bulls are fucking nuts!!!! :P
Why would anyone jump out of a perfectly good airplane? Cause the door was open!

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hey Xtine,

i know how you feel hun, am currently in a plastercast from almost a month ago!with at least another 2 to go:(

only you can decide on whether or not you want to get back up there,dont get me wrong, i have questioned myself about getting back into the sport, but we learn from mistakes afterall, and i've learned a pretty big one from my injury!......dont land like a div and never take on the runway cos it normally bites you back:$!!!

it was a relief to me reading your post and everyone elses replies,(so cheers)!! cos most people are less than sympathetic and whuffos just dont understand why im a grumpy cow for not being able to jump (even though the thought of it daunts me atm)and still go to the dz even though i cant jump! and then turn round and say "well thats what you get for jumping out of planes"

i know when my leg is finally mended i will be determined to get back up in the sky,(but only when i'm ready, not when my mates think i am) even with the landing playing on my mind and completely bricking it![:/] but the way i see it , we're told about the risks when we were trained, we still know about the risks when we jump, would it be the same without the risks?

whatever decision you make will be the best for you!!

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On September 18th of last year I was coming in on final at about 30 feet when out of the corner of my eye I noticed someone with target fixation flying at an angle to the target instead of a straight final leg and realized he was going to cross in front of me, and soon. At this time I had only about 150 jumps. My voice was stuck and I couldn't yell. In my head I contemplated turning but thought "No low turns." Then I thought "I should flare" but realized I would flare straight into him and potentially get wrapped. Well while I was deciding what to do I hit the ground without flaring. Ended up with T12, L1, & L2 compression fractures. Luckily I didn't need surgery but it hurt oh so bad (worse pain in the world). Even in the pain I never questioned stopping since I knew the dangers and if I wasn't willing to accept them then why did I start jumping in the first place. That was until one of my friends came into my hospital room and said "you wanted me to go skydiving, you aren't being such a good example." That made me really question getting back in the air. I thought that I shouldn't fly, that I wasn't safe. I was going to be out of the air and in a brace for 3 months but I still went to the dz to see my friends and just be around the sport. That is when I realized that I could never give it up. Sitting on the ground being so very jealous I realized that I could not see myself staying on the ground longer than I physically had too. The day that I was released I was back in the air. I was nervous for the first 10 to 20 landings in general and even still at 290 jumps, still land pretty far so that I'm not near other jumpers landing. But I am very happy to still be in the sport.

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It was not just 1 bad landing or incident that shook my confidence.

First injury was very minor sprained ankle, the very next jump flared late no plf, broken tailbone, 4 days later the dz employee who came out on an atv to give me a ride back in and encourages me to continue on is killed in accident at same dz.

Yeah, my confidence was shaken:S

I had every intention of continuing but I have to admit when the dz employee was killed only a few days later that really shook me up.

I have not been back to the dz since that time.

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My left foot found a gopher hole on landing during a night jump. It felt like I just twisted my ankle. It didn't hurt too bad. I even walked back to the short bus for the ride back to the hanger. That's when it started to hurt, on the bus. I figured, "OK, I sprained it." Had a fellow jumper who is a nurse take a look at it and we both agreed it was sprained. My toes had started turning purple at this point and the ball of my foot also started to hurt. I had bunion surgery less than two years prior on the same foot and decided to go to the ER to have it x-rayed just to be sure I didn't damage anything from the surgery. X-rays came back negative, it was just a moderate sprain.

What did I do? I was out on the landing area later the next day on crutches watching two of my friends make their first tandems. Then I put my rig on and crutched my way out to the PAC to be on the sunset load as an observer. You should have seen the pilots in the hangers staring at me with their jaws on the ground as a skydiver made her way to the PAC on crutches. :o:D:D Then the next weekend (only 7 days after my injury and one day off crutches, I had the DZO take me on a tandem. We discussed the landing under canopy and on final decided we would stand it up. We stood up the landing with me landing it on one foot. It was awesome!!!

About two months later, with the permission of my physical therapist, I started jumping again. A few weeks later I found out my foot had been broken the entire time (see avatar, which, btw, I'm quite proud of). I was told I needed surgery to fix it, but kept jumping (with doc's permission) right up until the surgery to put a screw in my foot two and a half weeks ago. I start PT (again) a week from tomorrow and will be in the air again in a few weeks. When I started jumping again I was nervous only because I was afraid of stepping wrong on landing and hurting my ankle again (didn't know about the break yet), but as soon as the yellow light came on, my nerves were just fine. :)
I've known people in the sport who have been killed and I watched a friend make a low turn and slam into the ground and break her pelvis and a few other things. A number of my skydiving friends have titanium rods in various parts of their bodies. I've had two malfunctions and wasn't fazed by either one. The second one was my fault (pilot chute in tow) and I learned from my mistake and moved on. A friend of mine recently dodged a bullet. He was leaving the DZ (less than 2 miles down the road) and was rear-ended by a drunk driver going over 90 mph. I bought him a shirt that says:

"I'd rather burn in at 200 mph, than to die in some senseless tragedy." - This is truly how I feel about skydiving.

My point is this: I know the risk, I understand the consequences, I accept them both. I jump and keep jumping because it is my passion and it runs through my blood.

Not everyone feels the same way I do. You need to decide what it means to you. You need to do what is right for you and only you.

Blue Skies!

p.s. If I ever go in, and any of my friends stop jumping because of it, I will haunt them. (you can quote me on that ;))
Adrenaline is my crack

DPH #3
D.S. #16 FAG #12 Muff Brother #4406

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My last accident was comparatively minor, but it brings back painful memories of a far more painful accident.

A couple of weeks ago, I took an 89 year old man for a tandem. It was a high-profile jump with dozens of spectators ad the local TV news station broadcasting. He dug his heels in on landing and tried to face-plant. I managed to convert that into a side slide. We kept his face out of the grass and looked great on TV. But in the process of preventing his face-plant, I re-injured my left hamstring muscle.

My hamstring muscle was previously injured (concusion, torn forehead, broken nose, dis-located shoulder, herniated disc in my spine, massive bruising and a mysterious leg injury that never seems to heal????) - during a plane crash last year and was almost healed.
At age 52, I don't heal as fast as I used to. Despite two months of physio-therapy and a year of exercising on my own, some parts of my body are still not healed.
The psychological scars are far deeper and I do not enjoy being reminded of the crash.

The other problem is that the local bully - goes out of his way - to remind me of the crash. Two weeks ago - in the airplane, within earshot of a tandem student - the bully pointed out the wreckage of the old airplane to another instructor - who broke a leg in the crash. I told the bully that "I don't enjoy being reminded, especially since I will probably never walk straight again!"
I followed that up with an angry letter to the DZO.

Apparently the bully did not believe that his behaviour was rude, because he repeated another cruel game the following Saturday. Saturday's cruel head game confused me, confused my tandem student, confused another tandem instructor and confused the pilot.
I gave up on talking to the bully directly and fired off another angry letter to the DZO. At sunset Saturday, the manifestor was FIRMLY trying to explain to the bully how much his "head games" hurt other people's feelings.

The sad thing is that he bullied (or was part of the process) a young skydiver into committing suicide a year-and-a-half ago. The bully was saddened by the suicide, but has recently resumed his rude behaviour.

The other sad thing is that if this bullying continues, I am going to quit my job and quit skydiving (after 33 years, that last 17 years full-time and the last ten years at the same company) because of workplace bullying.

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I've known people in the sport who have been killed .

My point is this: I know the risk, I understand the consequences, I accept them both. I jump and keep jumping because it is my passion and it runs through my blood.

Not everyone feels the same way I do. You need to decide what it means to you. You need to do what is right for you and only you.



Thank You for this reply:)
After the jump where I broke my tailbone, I made 3 more jumps and they were good jumps, even had 2 nice stand up landings.

Your point is well taken, I knew the risks before I got into this sport, and I accept them because for me the rewards far outweighed the risks.

On the tailbone landing, the dz employee who was killed 4 days later came out on the atv to give me a ride back to the hangar, sat down with me, talked with me and when I made my next jump that same day, he was there encouraging me.

I know his being killed has got me screwed up in the head:S, I know I want to get back in the air, all I have to do is get back the balls I lost.

The strange thing about a broken tailbone is that the damn thing never started to hurt bad.....until the next day>:(

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Thank You for this reply:)
I know his being killed has got me screwed up in the head:S, I know I want to get back in the air, all I have to do is get back the balls I lost.

The strange thing about a broken tailbone is that the damn thing never started to hurt bad.....until the next day>:(



You're welcome. I feel for you. I was on a load with the CRW team that lost two people a few weeks back. I didn't know them personally, but it is still an erie feeling.:( You'll do it when you're ready and no one will think any less of you for taking as long as you need.

p.s. injuries can be tricky like that. ;)
Adrenaline is my crack

DPH #3
D.S. #16 FAG #12 Muff Brother #4406

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Hi - -I'm not a regular DZ-dot-com poster, but I just saw your initial post and wanted to respond. You fall off the horse, you get back on. You crash the car, you drive again. You choke on a piece of meat, you eat steak next weekend. It's what we do. I've hurt myself twice: smashed foot, then 10 years later a tib/fib spiral fracture. I may walk funny, but I'm smiling when I do it. The decision is yours to go back. But this survivor keeps it up. Scared, yes. Worried about the metal in both legs. Yes. But, yes, I've learned to listen to the winds, and I can "see" all 21 jumpers from my Otter load down to the ground. I'm a skydiver. Hope you're doing well. I haven't read the follow-up posts to your story. PM me if you need encouragement.

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I'm heading for surgery next week for a two level cervical fusion + titanium plate. As much as I'd love to jump again, I don't know if I will...time will tell. Facing surgery brought things in to perspective for me: I don't heal quickly, I get injured easier, and I'm not the bulletproof 25 year old I once thought I was. The injury wasn't caused by skydiving, but a hard opening (sloppy pack job on my part to make a load) alerted me to the damage already done over the last 20 years or so, and certainly didn't help either. My goal is to be current by the Eloy Holiday Boogie 2010, but at this point, I realize I may have made my last jump. Being paralyzed really doesn't appeal to me very much.
Burn the land and boil the sea,
You can't take the sky from me.

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It's been amazing to read everyone's posts and I wish I could talk to everyone here! Riggerrob, I hope that this bully-jerkface-douchebag doesn't stop you from skydiving- skydiving is your life, please don't let a punk like that take it away from you! Does this guy work at the DZ or is he just a funjumper? I wish the DZO could be more pro-active in the situation.

Angrypeppers, I wish you the best of luck in your upcoming surgery. If it's any consolation I'm scheduled for my 3rd surgery this coming Thursday, October 8th so you're not alone. Your situation sounds much more serious than mine, and I hope you heal quickly.

I had dislocated my ankle so the foot was facing 180 degrees in the wrong direction and broke the fibula. I would have been walking by now but I picked up pretty serious infections at the hospital so they had to take out the hardware and cut out all of the skin- they said I was lucky I didn't lose my foot! At the time of the injury, no skin was broken and it was a simple dislocation and fibular fracture! I'm going into my 3rd surgery next week for free tissue transfer. They'll take muscle from my thigh or abdomen and the accompanying tissue to fill in the "hole" in my ankle and reconnect blood vessels, etc. Then hopefully my 4th surgery will be 1-2 months later to replace the hardware. The thing I've realized is that this broken ankle and hospital infection thing could have hadppened from twisting my ankle while walking down the street. I love skydiving, and I want to be a safe skydiver and I plan to get back in the air.

Even though we know this sport can be very dangerous, it's still a total tragedy when we lose fellow skydivers. I'm wishing everyone with injuries a speedy recovery and those who are jumping blue skies and soft landings.
There are three types of people in this world. Those who can count and those who can't.

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No advice, just my story. Here it is:

Christmas day 1999 crosswind landing near a ditch at Lake Wales...got blown to the side and landed hard on one foot. Cracked it. The ride back on the 4 wheeler was more dangerous i thought.

My friend said "You gotta get back on the horse or you'll never come back or it will be harder when you do".
I had about 150 jumps at the time. I thought "bullshit, I'm injured, i don't have anything to prove".
But he was right and I did have something to prove....that I'm a stubborn asshole that can land on one foot in the peas. So i got on the next load and slide it in on one foot in the center of the peas. Joe Cool.B|:S

Fast forward 6 days later to New Years Eve 1999. One has to make a day jump to make a night jump, so one more jump with the broken/cracked tender foot to qualify for the Millennium midnight jump tonight. No problem. Night jump was cool too.

next day:
The confidence gained from all that, later got me in trouble as i took my friends out for a joy ride in my dad's boat while he was in Vegas. This boat was worth more than my life could be insured for at the time if you know what i mean. :S But hey he gave me tips how to use it in case of a Y2K problem.:D

Anyway... the moral of the story is: I'm not sure, but i wear stiffer shoes with Dr. Shole insoles now. Those flimsy Chuck Taylors just don't cushion the feet enough.:D Oh and make sure your friends know how to flush a boat toilet.:|


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Well I can't speak from experience with a serious injury in the sport, but I can speak from scary moments. I raced motocross for 10 years, and have been skydiving for 3 and have 160 jumps, 2 BASE. I have never broken a bone. The worst I've had is a concussion early on in my motocross racing. Now some may call this lucky. Id like to think its some luck but mostly good decision making and proper safety precautions. Heres what I do: understand and learn from my mistakes to avoid repeating them in the future, and I think the one that has kept me healthy all along is NOT "riding above my head"(its a saying in motocross) or know your current capabilities and skill level. Alot of people tend to push it to hard, to quickly with out mastering all the basics first. And thats when you get hurt.
I think if you can do those two things consistently then you'll increase the safety of your jumps. And as one of the other guys said in a previous post, everytime you go to jump, you should be ok with the worst possible outcome as a possibility. Or else I wouldnt make that jump.

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As far as injuries are concerned I can't help wonder how does skydiving compares with other sports like skiing, rock/alpine climbing, surfing or even activities like driving a motorcycle. I have only 19 jumps and maybe I visited DZ about 8 times, but I have already seen a few injuries. I saw two bad landings both resulting in 911 and trip to ER. I myself got a hairline after my JM tackled me mid-air to stop a spin.

My injury or what I saw so far did not deter me from jumping (so far) but it does seem that this sport has more odd of getting injured compared to other activities i mentioned. During my AFF class i got nervous after going through various pictures of tangled chutes and when to go for reserve. To be honest the concept of reserve chute as a last resort freaked me out a little and to expect students to all figure it out and take appropriate action seemed like too much to me - especially during these very initial jumps. With all the sensory overload there is very little time to react. Chutes malfunction generally result in bad outcomes but it is the landings where folks are getting hurt more often - is that accurate assessment?

I somehow don't find comfort in the argument if one is prepared with the worst possible outcome then continue jumping. It sounds right in principal but I wonder if most of the folks are in the "it won't happen to me" category and playing with the odds.

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