0
cheese1178

How to get over a bad jump?

Recommended Posts

I'm an AFF student with 12 jumps (3 tandems and 9 AFF jumps). I started the program in March and have been going almost every weekend to the drop zone and supplementing with wind tunnel time (just some basic stability/belly flying work).

Ever since my C level, I have really fallen in love with the sport. I was no longer feeling the nerves when I took my feet off the plane threshold and stepped into the air. I loved achieving stability, building my skills and just seeing everything up there

Well, I went in last Sat to do my E-1 level. I had been practicing my barrel rolls on the ground, watching videos and reading my SIM. I felt confident and so excited to try it and be closer to graduating AFF.

I exited out of the plane and achieved stability. I pulled one arm to the side and my roll felt very very messy. I felt myself spin, spin and then spin harder. I didn't realize how fast I was spinning until I tried to pull my arm up to look at my altimeter and realized it was pinned to my side. My instructor flew by me in an attempt to help but I was spinning way too fast for her to get to. I punched out my hips into an arch and when I felt myself slow down, I put an arm over the chest and flipped over. I was at 6k, waved off and pulled. I navigated back to the landing area, landed on my feet next to my target.

I didn't panic in the moment and I am so grateful that I was able to arch and recover. However, after seeing the video footage of my dive I feel sick. I was literally spinning and doing 360's at around 80 mph (at least 50 360's). Yes, I am so grateful to be alive. I am so grateful I didn't panic during moment. Everyone at the drop zone keeps telling me that I did the right thing and most people would panic or pass out. Everyone keeps telling me that I had an awesome recovery. But I wouldn't have had to have an awesome recovery if I just did the barrel roll right in the first place. I wouldn't have endangered my life and my instructor's life if I had just done the dive flow right. It really didn't hit me until the next day that the situation could have gone VERY ugly and I keep hearing "what if" scenarios in my head.

I love the sport. I really want to develop my skills and become good at it. But I'm also scared now and all of the fears I didn't have before are startint to appear. How do you get over the stress from a bad jump? Any advice on moving forward?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I love the sport. I really want to develop my skills and become good at it



Good attitude.

Now read between the lines. What it says it that you want to become good at it, but that implies that you are not currently good at it, and with 12 jumps, that's about right.

Nobody, except for yourself, expects you to be good at it at this stage. Ease up on yourself, and realize that you will make mistakes, then make the best of it and learn something.

The good news (really good) is that all you did was screw up a useless freefall skill. You will never need to do a barrell roll to save your life, and in reality the only reason they teach them (and front/back loops) is so you get the experience of leaving the arch, and then recovering the arch when you're done. In that sense, you achieved the goal, you went unstable and then got stable again.

Beyond that, you pulled, on time, and with stability. You backed that up with good accuracy and a good landing. Call it a success, and make another jump.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds like you had a great jump!

You had a stability issue.
You identified it.
You corrected it.
You realized you were outta time and also again responded appropriately.

Maybe pay closer attention to altitude awareness?
The stability and control and movement can take years.
You'll keep learning and improving and learning and improving and oh shit! i funneled that jump! BEER!!!

Sounds like you're progressing quite normally.
I've been told some of the best skydivers are those that struggled the most to start with.

Unless you have mad skillz of course.

Relax more. Jump more. Celebrate life more.
Enjoy your jumps.
B|

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Everyone keeps telling me that I had an awesome recovery. But I wouldn't have had to have an awesome recovery if I just did the barrel roll right in the first place. I wouldn't have endangered my life and my instructor's life if I had just done the dive flow right. It really didn't hit me until the next day that the situation could have gone VERY ugly and I keep hearing "what if" scenarios in my head.

I love the sport. I really want to develop my skills and become good at it. But I'm also scared now and all of the fears I didn't have before are startint to appear. How do you get over the stress from a bad jump? Any advice on moving forward?



I have thousands of jumps and decades in the sport. There are still occasionally jumps where something doesn't go as I planned. Don't stress yourself out. If everybody tells you that you had an awesome recovery (and your instructors are saying that too) believe them and move on.

I'll tell you a little secret. A barrel roll has no purpose whatsoever in the sport of skydiving. It is used during training for you to learrn that you can go unstable and then recover by yourself.
"For you see, an airplane is an airplane. A landing area is a landing area. But a dropzone... a dropzone is the people."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds like a good jump to me. Sure, you made a couple of mistakes in freefall, but you recognized them, and corrected them. Sounds like you had a good canopy flight, pattern and landing - what's really to complain or feel bad about?

As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You done good. Simple as that.

I don't know what else your dive flow was to include other than a barrel roll but regardless....you accomplished the main goal of the jump.

Stable-unstable-stable-pull at your assigned altitude-good landing.

What instructor wouldn't be happy with that?

Nobody expects perfection. Not even the big boys are perfect...even though some of them my try to convince you that they are.
:D:D

Question: Were you really spinning or was your instructor orbiting around you?
:D:D:D
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would guess that if the same thing happens on the next jump that you would recover sooner. If you agree this is the case, use that to bolster your confidence.

There is an article in one of the recent Parachutist magazines about the mental battle to deal with experiences like this. Reading it and practicing what is suggested might also help.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maybe it's not bad to find something a little scary in skydiving, if everything has been going well. :)
Student spins do have a small bit of risk of something bad happening, and a spin on the back somewhat more so. (Nobody wants a student to not pull and have an AAD reserve fire very low, with line twists, and maybe a hard, bruising opening if on their back, stuff like that, where the margins before something really bad happens get smaller and smaller.)

Your confidence should be able to go back up because:

You were able to recover before the proper pull time.
You should now be able to recognize any spin sooner -- like right after it starts -- and recover earlier, which is also easier when the spin isn't going as fast.

If one can't get out of a spin, there are options other than doing nothing. Talk to your instructors again about what to do if one gets to normal pull altitude while unstable, or one totally loses track of altitude while unstable. The general rule in skydiving is to deploy a canopy at one's planned minimum pull altitude whatever one's stability. But again the details are for your instructors to teach.

You can be reassured that a spin starting from going on one's back during a failed barrel roll can be fixed pretty easily and quickly by standard recovery techniques like arching or also bringing an arm in to flip over.

Plenty of students have had spin problems when learning to do turns or to recover from a maneuver, but the problems are all easily fixable with basic freefall skills (even if it takes some people longer than others to do so). It is easy for a student to spin if they end up on their back, forget to arch, and twist their body.

Notice that nobody yet has even bothered to coach you on how to do the barrel roll right. Learning to recover from instability is a more important lesson than the perfect barrel roll.

Overcoming fears is a pretty common issue when starting skydiving, and there are plenty of threads scattered about on dz.com about doing so. Knowing that you know what to do, to fix or avoid a problem, is a part of overcoming fear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
First off, remember that in spite of things going wrong, you kept your wits about you, recovered, and deployed high enough. In that way, the dive was a success.
As to what went wrong, a couple of things. You did your barrol roll using a technique that is very commonly taught, even though it's wrong. I see this all the time, especially with those that are trained AFF. The "just pull one arm in" method is a way of getting off your back onto your belly, but is NOT the proper way to do a barrel roll. A barrel roll should involve you turning your body symetricly around a line going from your head down your spine. To do this, you need to bring in one arm while at the same time bringing in your leg, bringing both out again about the time you get a little over 90 degrees through. If this is all you do, you will end up on your back, as you did. To complete the manuver, you need to then bring in your opposing arm and leg about the time you end up 180 (back to earth) through the roll, going back to neutral position just past 270 degrees through. This is a barrel roll. Think symetry.
The "pull one arm in" method will actually put you kind of head down rolling on to your back, which is what happened to you. You started wpinning because you weren't symetrical on your back.
That all being said, you acomplished the goal of the dive. You got unstable and recovered.
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is always something to learn from on every jump. It helps to acknowledge the things you did right. You didn't panic. You were able to recover from the spin by yourself with out any help.

Just remember if you aren't making any mistakes then you are not trying hard enough. Making mistakes is part of learning. As you learn from your mistakes you will make fewer and fewer mistakes and will need to push yourself harder to learn more. Just relax and keep working at it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

My instructor flew by me in an attempt to help but I was spinning way too fast for her to get to.



Just a side note, if you are in the US, or training at a USPA DZ, there's a chance that you are jumping with a Coach, and not an Instructor at this stage.

The two ratings have different levels of responsibility, and different levels of training to earn each one. A jumper with a Coach rating would not have been trained to stop a spin or deploy a parachute for a student, where an Instructor is trained to do both of those.

On a coach-level jump, the inteded role of the coach is to observe and report, and the jumper is expected to complete the skydive on their own. There are times when an Instructor is tapped to do a coach-level jump, and in those cases it's up to the instructor's discretion to intervene and act as an Instructor and not a Coach, but in the case that a Coach is tapped for a coach level jump, they are not trained, expected, nor advised to interveve.

Stopping a spin or pulling for a student can present a significant risk for both jumpers if done improperly. moving forward, make sure you are clear on who you are jumping with, and what they may, or may not, be able to do for you.

I'm not suggesting that you were waiting for, or expecting, any sort of help, it sounds like you took care of yourself. Often time the shift from working with Instructrors to working with Coaches is not explained to students, and I think it's something you should be aware of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote


Just a side note, if you are in the US, or training at a USPA DZ, there's a chance that you are jumping with a Coach, and not an Instructor at this stage.



I sincerely hope not. It seems to me from what he wrote that they are following the ISP in the SIM. An E-1 jump is an instructor jump. He has to pass that before being cleared for self supervision in freefall and moving on to coached jumps.
"What if there were no hypothetical questions?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

But I wouldn't have had to have an awesome recovery if I just did the barrel roll right in the first place.



Last Saturday I did two jumps. There were over 10k jumps experience, 70 years in sport, two AFF ratings and multiple world records on the three way that we took off a Cessna 182

We funneled the exit on the "practice" jump. Flipped it over without an issue, but still. We should be better than that!

And then.... we funneled the exit on the important skydive - our wedding jump.

No big deal. We were still smiling. :)
Moral of the story? Any skydive you all walk back to the packing area from was a good one. Did you learn something? Then it was even more of a success.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote


I'll tell you a little secret. A barrel roll has no purpose whatsoever in the sport of skydiving. It is used during training for you to learrn that you can go unstable and then recover by yourself.


actually its a great move to get into a backtrack while tracking (half barrel roll).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They're not gonna like our advice.
They have mad skillz.
How else do you check on top of yourself before opening???
:D:D:D

Hey! Young up-jumpers! YES YOU!!!
No barrel rolls to check your airspace.
Wait till you have thousands of jumps.
And mad skillz.

Seriously.

[/thread drift / soapbox rant]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am going to put this into the bowling thingy. I have been bowling my whole life and in order to practice I would have the bowling alley shut down the pin setter and just throw the ball for hours until I got it right. Yes I could practice 3 or 4 hrs . This sport you have 1 minute of practice per jump (freefall) it takes time and try to get videos from your jump buddies. you are going to screw alot of jumps up, learn and enjoy (laugh at yourself). Just be safe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

0