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fj754

Old jumper needs advise

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OK Skydivers . I need a little help here. I am an old jumper my D number is very low 3 numbers. Yes I am getting up there in age but still young at heart.
I want real bad to get back in the sky, the kids are grown, the grand kids too.
But here my problem. I have always been a big guy 6foot 6 inches, in my prime I weighed in at 245-250 pounds and I was jumping PC's ,trash packs, anything I could jump I would do it. Taft was my DZ back in the days when Art Armstrong owned it and the Arvin good guys went against the Taft Team. GREAT Times.
Now I am still 6-6 but weigh around 270-280, just bought some new gear rated up to 375, my question is who will help me get back in the sky and teach me how to fly these new ram air chutes. Any advise is welcome. I going to do it some way or the other ,I was never a "sky god' just a fun jumper with some great people. Thank you all

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OK Skydivers . I need a little help here. I am an old jumper my D number is very low 3 numbers. Yes I am getting up there in age but still young at heart.
I want real bad to get back in the sky, the kids are grown, the grand kids too.
But here my problem. I have always been a big guy 6foot 6 inches, in my prime I weighed in at 245-250 pounds and I was jumping PC's ,trash packs, anything I could jump I would do it. Taft was my DZ back in the days when Art Armstrong owned it and the Arvin good guys went against the Taft Team. GREAT Times.
Now I am still 6-6 but weigh around 270-280, just bought some new gear rated up to 375, my question is who will help me get back in the sky and teach me how to fly these new ram air chutes. Any advise is welcome. I going to do it some way or the other ,I was never a "sky god' just a fun jumper with some great people. Thank you all



I returned to jumping in May 2007 after a near-26 year hiatus. I did a refresher course at Jim Wallace's school at Perris, made a single AFF jump with one jumpmaster and was cleared to go. One great advantage at Perris is an on-site Tunnel and I did 10 minutes in the tunnel before the refresher course. If you have access to one, you will probably find that, just like a bicycle, the conditioned reflexes are still there; just a bit rusty. It is reassuring to know you can still control yourself in freefall and that the rust blows off once you're back in the air. Of course, you should pay close attention to the gear. It will be different and you'll feel pretty silly if you're groping your main lift web for a ripcord instead of reaching for the pilot chute in the BOC.

As far as canopies are concerned, start with big, docile and forgiving (which is what they use for students) and don't be in too big a hurry to downsize. Good instructors should be able to help you with canopy control and adivse you on what size to jump.

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That is pretty interesting to know someone has a lot of skydiving experience but the next jump will be the first on a ram air canopy. You could have a canopy coach talk you down on a radio like they do all first jump students. I would love to hear more of your story as you get back into the sport.

I have seen several older prior military jumpers come to our DZ to do a FJC and a SL jump. It is great to see them back in the sky with a smile on their face.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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Welcome back to the sport! I wish I could share wone of your beers for celebrating a first ram-air jump.

You're on the right path by seeking advice, so here are a few areas to consider. Ram-air parachutes can create enough forces during normal operation to serious hurt or kill you. The same forces can also lead to tip-toe landings. Learn how to fly them.

Gear has changed. Many fatalities have sprung from a jumper reaching in the wrong place for the wrong thing. Old habits die hard. New habits take time.

Our understanding of body flight has changed. I jumped with an old-time belly flyer and coached him on how to use his whole body to make side-slides and center-point turns. Get coaching on that. The tunnel is great for that lesson.

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Fill in the rest of your profile here so we know where you are.

There are still enough old farts around who will do what we did in the old days. Set around the bar and tell you a lot of what you need to know.

Sitting through a first jump course with canopy control, emergency procedures (three ring release, two ram air out, etc.) basic canopy control etc might not be a bad idea. Of find the old fart who is current and have them help you out one on one.

You'll find that the canopy stuff will happen faster. The skills you had in canopy control still apply but now at 25mph instead of 8. And you don't have to start when your canopy opens anymore.;)

Make sure the equipment is really applicable to your current size and condition. Hopefully it wasn't a military surplus freefall rig.[:/]

Free fall is still free fall and I'm sure the sky will welcome you back.
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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Sitting through a first jump course with canopy control, emergency procedures (three ring release, two ram air out, etc.) basic canopy control etc might not be a bad idea.


You talk as if a dropzone maybe would allow this guy NOT to sit in on a first jump course and get properly trained. That would be a fucking shit dropzone if they would allow him to skip a FJC.

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You talk as if a dropzone maybe would allow this guy NOT to sit in on a first jump course and get properly trained.



I was thinking the same thing! People generally hurt themselves under canopy, and that is where things have moved on the most since the OP's heyday. There's virtually nothing about having a jumped a round parachute that will prepare you for handling a square, whether we're talking about openings, control input, navigation, landings or emergency procedures.

fj, welcome back. I wish you well and look forward to hearing about your experiences. It'll be fascinating to read about your impression of the sport now compared to how you left it - I guess you'll have a different perspective from those who started jumping at a similar time but have never been away.

And I'm sure nobody will be just throwing a rig on you, putting you on a load and seeing what happens. ;)

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I don't know your age but I understand you as being myself well over 60. Your weight, height and age shouldn't be a problem. The most important is your physical shape. What you need first is having strong leg and arm muscles.
Then find a friendly DZ where they are ready to take care of you and put you back into modern skydiving. Starting with a large square canopy will be the way. Get a good briefing and maybe for the first times at least, have a radio in helmet to match the directions from the ground instructor about when and how doing your approach and flare for landing.

I order to encourage you, not only I am over 60 but my weight is 245 plus equipment. On last July I was in the six way base of the new Canadian record of 102 at Farnham Quebec. In the base there were 2 guys bigger than I and one was 6'5". Go on the following YOU TUBE link to see what I am talking about. You can see me in royal blue jumpsuit breathing oxygen at 18000 feet and waiting for the green light just before exit from the lead plane, a Sherpa of 38 jumpers.
http://youtu.be/FvURXQ43788
This weekend I have jumped twice for a demo at an AirShow. The airplane was an ANTONOV AN-2, Russian made and biggest biplane in the world.
As you can see I am not finnished, same for you if you get a good preparation.
Learn from others mistakes, you will never live long enough to make them all.

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Welcome back!

Go big and stay big on canopies is my advice. Keep that wing loading conservative and you'll still be jumping years from now. Land like a 747. Leave swoops to the kids who believe they are immortal and are 100% certain that they will always have perfect timing and judgment.

I've been jumping since 1968 and jumped a week ago. No injuries ever, which is amazing since I used to jump cheapo rounds in strong winds and land hard going backwards. Modern ram air canopies are a godsend for old jumpers. You can have a nice standup landing every time if you take a conservative approach to canopy flying and wind conditions.

377
2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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You might want to look into getting a little wt. off your body if nothing else for your health. Plus it will make hitting the ground better... Good luck in what ever you do and welcome back in the sport... I see a lot of oldtimers comming back... Take it slow the sport has changed. I have been in the sport 45 year now and it has done a 180 from when I first jumped in 1967. What changed to sport was the slider!!!

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Go big and stay big on canopies is my advice. Keep that wing loading conservative and you'll still be jumping years from now.



What do you consider conservative?



I fly a Triathlon loaded at about 1.1 lb/sq ft. When winds exceed 18 mph I wait for lower speeds. I'm 63 and it works for me.

One thing a lot of new low time jumpers don't seem to understand is that landing slightly off the wind line is not such a huge deal. I've seen such jumpers make big toggle inputs very close to the ground to correct a 10 degree off upwind heading. Not necessary and potentially very dangerous.

Brian Germain's book Canopy Pilot is a a must read and must have publication. It tells you how to make good landings and more importantly how to safely recover from a landing approach that is sub optimal.

If you are tempted to try hook turns and swoops do them in an empty sky well above 2000 ft. I can fantasize that I'm a great swooper under those conditions. No consequences if I blow it.

On my real landings I'm a 747. Upwind, pattern, no low turns.

Boring landings are my goal, every time. Nobody has ever turned their head to watch my landings and that's OK with me.

377
2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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My name is Will I live in deep South Texas.
My Brand new gear arrived I was like am kid in a candy store
All new gear but strange to what I am used to
I have a Vector 3 with a Vigal AOD and the RSL and SKY Hook system.
My canopy are brand new from PD
And I have lost 25 pounds, hardest thing I had to do, but I DID IT!!!!!!!!.
Now awaiting my jump suit being made for me by Merlin suits
Like I told my wife I plan to live for a long time buts there is no way I am going to be put in a nursing home shitting on myself, she thinks I have gone wackey in the head , re living my youth she said, I said NO all the kids are grown and its my time to have some fun. I said listing I am on the local volunteer fire dept and I am the only Paramedic and I can still do that, so why not Skydiving, I tell her that now I will be a PARA medic HA HA.
But I hope to get going real soon .
So watch out skydiver this old fart is coming back to town.
Take Care everyone,
Will

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I hope you are able to make it back into the blue.

About 3 months ago, I weighed myself while waiting for the doctor to come into his little room, and I hit 215 pounds. I was shocked, and deceided I had to do something about it.

I changed my diet, and the next month, I was at 208 pounds, Last week I again go weighed, and I am now at 202 pounds, and feeling much better.

I want to drop another 15 pounds, and end up at about 185, which is good enough for my 6 ft 1 inch height.

I plan on a few more jumps, but I turn 80 yrs old on Oct 31st, and I am not sure how long I will continue to jump. Much depends on my daughter getting the ability to fly stable for 60 seconds.

Best of luck to you, and let us know how you make out with it.

Bill Cole D-41 Canada




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