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bwilling

Bonus Days...

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Bonus Days



Okay, I'll start by telling everyone that I can't remember the origin of the term "Bonus Days", but that I remember the term from my early skydiving days (1978-1983), and it has just stuck with me over the years...

"Bonus Days" are all the days you get after you're involved in an incident while skydiving that might have killed you, but didn't! Ordinary jumps don't count (but maybe they should! :P)

I'm on bonus days, and there's been a couple of posts very recently, by individuals that are now living on bonus days, and it made me wonder how many more of us are on "Bonus Days"...

If you're on bonus days, tell us your bonus days story...

"If all you ever do is all you ever did, then all you'll ever get is all you ever got."

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I have been on "Bonus Days" since Apr. of 96.
I was setting up for a swoop ay my home DZ. There was a lot whuffo females there that day ( which i intended to impress). O.K. i will say it " I WAS TRYING TO SHOW OFF" I won't go intp details but i front-risered a 120 Espree into the ground! Should have killed me but i got out of it with a steel ankle and a fractured back ( in 3 places). Now that i look back at it.......i wonder if they were impressed???
Philip


"HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?"

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Double Bonus days!;) 1981 1400' reserve total. Pulled at 1700' after cutaway. Opened at 300' at terminal.:o Second bonus. Reserve still inflating as I went into the top of the trees. My ankle reminds me of bonus days every day. Not even a malfunction since 1987. Hmmm, the gear must be too good.B|

No, regular malfunctions don't count in my book.:P

Terry
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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Quote

Define "might have killed you". Do all mals count?



Well, that's a grey area... technically, every jump might possibly kill you (and you can verify this by not opening your parachute... once!)

But the spirit of "Bonus Days" requires that it be out of the 'ordinary', so a properly handled mal doesn't count, but one that you screw up probably does!

Take my bonus day incident for example... we planned a 5 way out of a C-182 (don't ask, I can say 'over gross'), dragging a diamond with a stinger out the door. I was on the tail of the diamond, and as I took grips on the jumpers in front of me, the stinger behind me grabbed me by the shoulders, and started yelling something at me... I couldn't tell what he was trying to tell me, but when he grabbed me it had the side effect of me pulling on the legstrap grips on the guys in front of me, which was the signal to GO!

So they went! Of course I went with them! But I wasn't really ready, and I fell off the tail... no problem, I just started flying into my slot. I felt... well... funny, but couldn't quite pin it down, so onward ho, gotta get to my slot. As I neared my position back on the tail, I made eye contact with a friend flying on the left wing (outside center?), and he had this look on his face.. this look of terror. He starts pointing frantically over his back, which looked clear and fine to me!

It was then that I realized he meant me when he pointed over his back... so I looked over my back. Now I realized what the stinger had been trying to tell me! My container had opened when I bent over to take grips, and my d-bag had fallen out onto the floor of the plane! And when they went, and I went with them, he had no choice but to toss it out after me!

So no shit, there I was (just had to throw that in :ph34r:)... trailing my main behind me in freefall, still in the bag, and looking might ugly. I might mention now, that I had already had one premature opening on this container, a solo jump, dive out exit , boom you're under canopy at 7500' kinda thing. So I thought this was the same thing except the pilot chute got snarled, and wasn't going to open, bag lock, whatever...

But I'm high, and I know that, so I don't panic. I calmly reach for the cutaway handle, and pull it... hmmm, what's this??? It seems that there's so little drag on the stuff that the risers don't release. Still high, still plenty of time, so I just reach up and pull them loose, one by one... ahhhhhhhh, quick look over the shoulders, and now I'm clear (stay tuned). I'm still high, and it's really windy, and I'm jumping a round reserve (long time ago, okay). so I lay there and waited to pull my reserve...

2000' now, less chance of getting blown to Oklahoma, so I hit the reserve, and feel it coming off my back. Good feeling... Line stretch, and I look up to watch the reserve open... what I see next scares the shit out of me! Oh, my reserve is up there, and opening, but next to it is my streamering main, still in the d-bag!?!

The reserve opens normally (thank you God!), and the main swings around and hangs underneath me, hanging by the ROL mounted pilot chute, which has been in the pouch the whole time.... shit!

Bonus Days.

"If all you ever do is all you ever did, then all you'll ever get is all you ever got."

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Given the number of times I bounced (three) and the divots in the rock-hard ground of the helicopter landing hill at Quincy that convention, I am most assuredly on bonus days since the 14th of August, 1998.:$

And the metal in my leg reminds me almost every night!:(

Faster horses, younger women, older whiskey, more money.

Why do they call it "Tourist Season" if we can't shoot them?

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"Bonus Days" are all the days you get after you're involved in an incident while skydiving that might have killed you, but didn't! Ordinary jumps don't count (but maybe they should! )

Interesting terminology, I like it.
My bonus days began in 96. On my second freefall I went unstable and front looped into my main lines and was held upside down in them by my legs, all I needed to do was a back flip and everything would have been fine but I started grabbing lines and moving them from between my legs out and around to clear them, not surprisingly:S the more I seemed to put myself in the clear the worse the canopy started to look (I didnt go through the right - left line groups) thus giving myself a step through from hell...... when I got clear of all the lines the canopy looked like a wadded kleenex with a couple of normal looking inflated cells..... I decided to cut it away and use the reserve. buuuuttt apparently there was still lines under the container.....when I cutaway I went no more than two inches......"thunk"..... I can still remember the thought...."HUH??" quite clearly.....didnt even go far enough to activate the RSL........and then the spin started......never knew a Raven IV could spin so fast. I kept trying to find what was holding me but with the birds nest of lines I obviously missed something important.........and I knew it was bad JUJU to pull the reserve with this wad of crap above me so I kept looking frantically..........I did keep my altitude awareness and when I hit 1500' still enmeshed .... I pulled the reserve, I had no hope in my mind that it would work, my entire thought process was that it would make a bigger wad of crap thus slowing me down a bit more, hoping it would be enough to survive...... My guardian angel was apparently with me, the reserve was a 26' lo-po round and with the radicall spin going on it opened in front of me ... when it opened and swung above me, the main just floated away........then under the reserve facing into the wind, I realized that I was backing up toward the interstate.........and all I could do was hold into the wind and hope....... I missed the interstate by about 30' PLF'ng through a "very" fresh pile of cow dung.......I think it was the most beautiful smell I have ever smelled. So on that cold march day in 96' I began my "bonus days"
Roy R. Springer
D22369
PS: after that day I took stability during deployment extremely seriously.......
They say I suffer from insanity.... But I actually enjoy it.

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Not skydiving related but I've been living on bonus days for 20 years. I have known the concept ever since I was struck by and run over by a tractor-trailer on a bicycle.

After watching the rig roll over my legs I knew I was dead, and I was OK with it. Never really worried about death since then.

Thanks to some great Docs and the luck of having this happen within 1/4 mile of a hospital, I've been able to enjoy my own Bonus Days.

We should all live like every day is a bonus, because they really are, even if you don't realize it yet.

Skydivers seem to be more aware if this than most.

ETR

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Bonus days for me since 1985. A 12 way I was part of that had exited an Otter nearly hit a C182 jump plane at about 5000'. Obviously some communication was missed as the C182 was climbing to altitude right over the spot.
I remember seeing the 182 just before it was directly under us and I thought we were going to hit it for sure. All I could think of was the prop coming at us and that I didn't want to get cut to pieces by the prop. I guesstimate we were about 50 feet above it when it was directly below us. The visual of the top of the wing and the rivets getting bigger real FAST is as vivid now as when it happened. Just as we should have hit it, it was gone. Nobody on the load did a thing...noone tried to pull, avoid, nothing. It happened so damn fast it was incredible.
Only time skydiving or in my entire life that I've ever thought I was about to die in the next instant.
--
Murray

"No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets." - Edward Abbey

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April 28,2002. Last jump of the day. Perfect Sunday afternoon, except for that low turn to close to mother earth. She reached out and touched me so hard I was carted off with a compound fracture above the left ankle. Wicked ass scar. Nine months of recovery. First return jump was perfect Twenty or so later, I'm REEEEEAL careful close to the ground. Just couldn't walk away from a sport that has taught me so much about living. Blu Skies! And remember the BASICS on every jump.
L.A.S.T. #24
Co-Founder Biscuit Brothers Freefly Team
Electric Toaster #3
Co-Founder Team Non Sequitor
Co-Founder Team Happy Sock

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Yeah. Bonus days for me...

Maybe 8 years back...I did a Tandem with a really big guy. 6'3", 240lbs.
Went through the door, and he put his feet out straight in front of him - like a pike. I had camera on the dive. I tried to hook his legs, but couldn't reach. We were on our side - drouge side down, in a slow turn. I tried to throw the drouge...:(

Well... drouge entanglement next... :Swhich I tried to clear twice, unsuccessfully. Now the side spin starts. Its amazing to see the speed it accelerates at within 2 rotations. I remember thinking - now... while you can... and firing the reserve. Got bad riser burn on my neck, but otherwise an OK reserve deployment.

Landed safely. Showed the video to everyone - and sent a copy to the local evaluator.

Stuff I did wrong.

Throwing the drouge early to "help" the cameraman.
Arching instead of relaxing to build airspeed prior to an attempt to get stable

Stuff I did right.

Going for the reserve even though I had altitude to work with. Its the strangest mindset convincing yourself you're fighting for your life with altitude to spare.
Firing the reserve when I did.
Circulating the tape - and risking my ego - so others could learn from it.

Bonus days. They're all so good.:)
t
It's the year of the Pig.

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Bonus days only in skydiving/Jumping?

Let me see?
1.) In '96 My Main Collapsed at about 75' off the ground. I prepared my PLF the best I could when the canopy miraculously re-inflated. Manifest Girl said she had to look away.

2.) In '97 I was number one jumper on a mass attack at Fort Bragg. I had a good canopy when all of a sudden it just folded in half. I was not concerned I just grabbed the risers and spread them apart and in reinflated. When I looked down I was less than 50' off the ground. Would have hit w/o knowing.

3.) Quincy '99 the last day I was coming in on final when I got a weird vibe. I looked over my left shoulder and
Quote

BAM!!!

Some Guy hooked into me.

4.) September '99 I wrapped the drogue around my right foot. No option but pull the reserve. Well the reserve hit the drogue danced around it then inflated. The video is something to see.

5.) December '99 one toggle stuck in the fish-eye on my Jedi-120. I played around trying to clear it too long and ended up having to ride it in. I did the best PLF I could and came out with a broken hip. Factory diver split on the chin and dytter no longer functional. 3-surgeries, almost 20hrs on an operating table in 18months.

6.) October '02 Was on a 20-Way. Dive all busted up on exit. most of us got back together with one guy low. He stayed under the formation until break-off. He ended up dmping at 3500' which I thought was odd. I dumped at 2200' I looked over my shoulder only to have someone come through me. Everyone O.K. Low guy dumped in the one individual's face and he barrel rolled over on top of me.

I think that about covers it. Keep in mind these are only my jumping incidents. I used my Nine lives a long time ago. If these count what kind of
Quote

BONUS DAYS!!!!

am I on?

My Guardian Angels LOVE ME!!!! ;)B|

Blue Skies and Safe Landings,

KRAAAMER
The REAL KRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMER!

"HESITATION CAUSES DEATH!!!"
"Be Slow to Fall into Friendship; but when Thou Art in, Continue Firm & Constant." - SOCRATES

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***Okay, I'll start by telling everyone that I can't remember the origin of the term "Bonus Days", but that I remember the term from my early skydiving days (1978-1983), and it has just stuck with me over the years...
Quote


The first time I heard the term was in 77-78?
Roger Nelson and his brother Carl were doing 'Bonus Days" jumps...involving activity that quite accurately was defined by that term!!B|











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

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April 28th, bad skydiving day. April 28, 2001 was on a jump when a friend went in and I saw the whole thing. One year later, April 28, 2002, I had a terrible landing breaking my back and right foot. Been on bonus days ever since. But won't jump on April 28th ever again and don't even go to a drop zone.
David

"Socrates wasn't killed because he had the answer.......he was killed because he asked the question."

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Yeah. I was kind of thinking about going to the zoo or maybe the river for a little meditation this April 28. Good thing I'm not superstitious.
L.A.S.T. #24
Co-Founder Biscuit Brothers Freefly Team
Electric Toaster #3
Co-Founder Team Non Sequitor
Co-Founder Team Happy Sock

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