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Everything posted by bochen280

  1. I've been walking for close to 26 years and driving a car close to 10... never got hurt before until first tandem skydiving... and I've done a lot of walking and a heck of a lot more driving than most people. Skydiving safer than driving a car or crossing the street? Not for me it sure wasn't.. That statistic doesn't even seem logical. If everyone who was capable of crossing a street or driving a car were also compelled to skydive (which would be ending up like a majority of the population) we'd see death statistics left and right and the sport would be shutdown in less than a year. It would be interesting to compare AFF student vs driving school student injury/accident/death statistics... From a percentage standpoint I'm certain far fewer people got killed learning to walk across a street than skydiving.
  2. That statement is axiomatic and rhetorically redundant. From an existentially ontological standpoint there are no dichotomous of duality that provide the necessary categorical perceptive boundaries of the neural correlates of consciousness of the connotative and denotative definitions of "zero airspeed"... A phrased or idiom mapped directly back onto itself provides little literary or linguistic value, and ceases to carry forward the sort of meaning, function and purpose of translation and/or reduction of consciousness as it may have originally been intended.
  3. If Obamacare stands, skydiving and other extreme sports will be outlawed along with jelly doughnuts and Twinkies because they increase health care costs for everyone else. 44 Just like flying (as in commercial aviation for transportation reasons, not wing-suit "flying") is a privilege and not a "right"... likewise "adventure sports" will probably be banned "for our own safety"... and DZ will be required to make sure you have purchased Obamacare before you are allowed to skydive... just like car rentals have to check if you have valid drivers license and motor insurance, DZ in the future will be federally required to confirm you have purchased Obamacare Skydiver Insurance edition...
  4. Can't say more at this time, but you all sit back and watch it's about to get real interesting in the real near future* for some of us. *6 mos or maybe less, maybe more? Let me guess.... 1) Something to do with the $100 tax per flight? That will make skydiving almost twice as expensive overnight. 2) The USPA will be effectively "absorbed" by the FAA/DHS, and USPA will be disbanded and no longer be recognized by the government as a valid organisation/association. 3) DZs will have to be certified with the same level of scrutiny regarding safety rules and regulations as airlines. All TI/TM will be forced to get a commercial pilot license and a TWIC card 4) Every new skydiving /tandem tourist will need to get fingerprinted, credit and criminal background checked, blood drawn with DNA sampled, voice identification, etc etc .... x-ray body scanners will be required before skydiving... 5) There will be a special "value added tax" towards aviation fuel for nonessential activities that do not fall under public transportation... So for example, skydiving operators will have to pay MUCH MORE tax for aviation fuel than the general public aviation or airliners. 6) Tandem, as a money making machine, tourist attracting ploy, etc will be BANNED. 7) Skydivers with license have to re-certify every three years regardless of whether or not they have been active. 8) One strike and you are out... skydivers that experience any malfunction will not be allowed to skydive anymore... 9) Skydiving activities will be rationed and capped. No matter your level of experience or skill or license, only 100 jumps per year, 1000 jumps per lifetime, retroactively applies. 10) Every skydiving accident or death will get the FBI and NTSB involved. Did I leave anything out?
  5. Next 30 years? A holodeck powered by quantum based computer and direct neural interaction (like a hyper-vivid stimulated lucid dream with computer induced/controlled virtual mental environments) where we can do virtual skydiving with safety protocols on (pain thresholds capped)... Better yet, just fly like Superman without the parachute. Tandem / AFF/ DZ will be for old people for nostalgia sake.
  6. Bill, I say that leaving the plane flying at your terminal velocity, let's say 120 mph, you'll feel not one third G, but 1 G of acceleration, since that's the wind force of a 120 mph wind on your body. That's, of course, the amount of wind it takes to balance the force of gravity in regular freefall, correct? So 120 mph wind force = 1 G. As you well know, wind resistance is equal to the square of the speed, so a 168 mph exit would give you 2 G's, a 60 mph exit would give you a quarter G. I certainly agree with you about those high speed exits. You can feel the "oooph" when you hit the relative wind. It would still probably be less than one full g because you are not exiting in arch position standing up parallel to and facing the front of the aircraft. Given the same initial relative wind velocity and less surface area contact (since the wind is hitting you sideways) it would probably be less than a full earth gravity unit of force. Conversely, if you were skydiving and "free-falling" on your sides, your new terminal velocity would be a lot faster than 120mph.
  7. When I did my first tandem and my TI and I jumped out and we did the usual flip and while flipping around in the air and I briefly saw the white airplane above us flying away across the deep blue sky that was a moment of "surreal" serenity for me... like "I know this is happening but I can't believe it is really happening" feeling... I've seen that particular "shot/scene" in a lot of skydiving movies/videos... but it was (for me) surreal to experience it for the first time in real life. Altitude is a matter of attitude (literally). What kills people in skydiving is not the height (thousands of feet) but the instantaneous g forces on impact with the ground (the descent and fall rate on contact) .... after a certain height it doesn't really matter anymore... falling from 8,000ft is no more or less dangerous than 14,000ft.... (to an extent, of course too much higher and there are other complications too!) One could die from bad footing and falling off a two story building. The point is, it is not the raw nominal height units that matter.
  8. Sorry for being so long winded... here is more concise reply. Is that realy correct? The "droppy feeling" comes from a lack of (net) acceleration forces being enacted on a body. It (that zero g feeling) is "only" present when the total 3-dimensional sum composite of all the vector acceleration forces being acted on any given individual comes out to be near zero. Which in the case of being on earth usually means physically accelerating towards the planet's gravity center at a rate that cancels out the relative affects of said gravitational planet, which again is complicated by the fact that as far as traditional skydiving goes, there are other temporarily acc forces at play that also acts on the body in addition to the earth's forces (ie atmosphere, relative winds caused by forward moving aircraft, etc) I think a lot of skydivers say they don't experience the droppy feeling because they have just gotten used to it over time, and it doesn't take very long. But initially, I think novice jumpers DO feel it for the first several jumps. Desensitization plays a part of it. But there is more to it than just that. And I don't think it has anything to do with the horizontal speed of the aircraft or the wind when you exit. It's entirely a function of VERTICAL acceleration only. If you were moving horizontally at 120 mph on a roller coaster and suddenly hit a steep drop, I think you ARE going to feel the droppy feeling, simply because of the vertical drop alone. Likewise, if you jumped from a jet fighter flying horizontally at 600 mph, you would still feel the droppy feeling as you accelerated downward vertically, despite your high horizontal speed. Actually, he would not feel the "droppy feeling" at all. If anything, to his body the earth would have suddenly oriented 90 degrees around and gravity would have gotten much stronger than 9.8m/s squared. If you think about it, "vertical" and "horizontal" is just a matter of body position. The droppy feeling comes from negative G-forces, i.e. being lighter than the pull of gravity. There is actually no such thing as "negative G-forces", strictly speaking. We can have micro-gravity or almost near zero-gravity but not "negative G-forces". Negative G-Forces is really just acceleration in the opposite direction. "Deceleration" is simply inverse directional acceleration. Probably what you mean by "negative G-forces" is a reduction of g-forces towards zero....(but never quite reaching EXACTLY zero) because TOO much "negative" g forces simply turns out to be positive G forces in the opposite direction. And it is not so much about being lighter than the pull of gravity (?) as it is about "giving in to the pull of gravity" G-forces are defined as x, y and z, where x is the forward direction, -x is backwards, y is to the left, -y is to the right, z is upward, and -z is downward. Or something like that. Positive z forces produce the "heavy" feeling as your weight is increased by more than normal acceleration. Negative z forces produce the "droppy" feeling as your weight is decreased by less than normal acceleration. That's the way I see it. There is no absolute x, y, z. It is all relative to your own frame of reference. I think I agree that it IS about acceleration, but disagree that the DIRECTION of acceleration is irrelevant. And there is probably some human physiology involved too... It is not so much about acceleration as it is about the lack of net acceleration forces being applied to a body (which usually on or near earth it means accelerating towards the gravity center of the most predominant force of gravity, basically the planet earth) ... And "directional" is largely meaningless and irrelevant in terms of how you are applying it here... to the human body it makes no difference if the force is coming from earth or a centrifuge. Forces are forces, direction is relative to the individual only. So, which view is correct?
  9. Also, I forgot to add and wanted to point out... there is nothing "special" about the earth's gravitational pull... in reality there is no distinction between "vertical" forces and "lateral" forces.... forces are all forces. And there is no real "up" or "down"... and even altitude is a matter of attitude. It is all a matter of relative frame of reference. EDIT: Also I'd like to make mention of the following.... Although 90mph relative winds is not enough to make up for the sudden loss of 1g when instantaneously jumping out of the aircraft, the difference in this form of skydiving from moving aircraft scenario **vs** the roller-coaster plunge, sudden elevator drop, falling from tall building, etc is that in the former case the ~0.8(approx) g is felt almost immediately upon exit of the aircraft (infact the "acceleration" forces peaks at its highest/strongest/most-intense the moment one exits the plane and then quickly tapers down to zero) whereas in the latter case the zero g is felt almost immediately... It is the difference between going from 1 g to ~0.8 g (a loss of only 0.2g) to going from 1 g to 0 g (a loss of entire 1.0g)... The lateral "acceleration" (one could call this "artificial gravity") forces is MOST strong the moment one first exits the moving plane and then slowly reduces to zero but during that time it has given the "vertical" acceleration forces the opportunity to play "catch up" and supplement the loss of lateral forces. In essence it is gradual and gentle throughout... Whereas in typical freefall from non-moving platforms the zero-g sensation is HIGHEST precisely at the moment of freefall and then reduces after a few seconds... It is this stark juxtaposition that gives us the more immediate intensity of this droppy feeling. It is a "sudden" sensation that catches us by suprise. It is this contrast that makes all the difference. Effectively this is why one feels the "droppy feeling" much more intensely in a roller coaster ride than say skydiving from moving airplane.
  10. Is that realy correct? I think a lot of skydivers say they don't experience the droppy feeling because they have just gotten used to it over time, and it doesn't take very long. But initially, I think novice jumpers DO feel it for the first several jumps. And I don't think it has anything to do with the horizontal speed of the aircraft or the wind when you exit. It's entirely a function of VERTICAL acceleration only. If you were moving horizontally at 120 mph on a roller coaster and suddenly hit a steep drop, I think you ARE going to feel the droppy feeling, simply because of the vertical drop alone. Likewise, if you jumped from a jet fighter flying horizontally at 600 mph, you would still feel the droppy feeling as you accelerated downward vertically, despite your high horizontal speed. The droppy feeling comes from negative G-forces, i.e. being lighter than the pull of gravity. G-forces are defined as x, y and z, where x is the forward direction, -x is backwards, y is to the left, -y is to the right, z is upward, and -z is downward. Or something like that. Positive z forces produce the "heavy" feeling as your weight is increased by more than normal acceleration. Negative z forces produce the "droppy" feeling as your weight is decreased by less than normal acceleration. That's the way I see it. I think I agree that it IS about acceleration, but disagree that the DIRECTION of acceleration is irrelevant. And there is probably some human physiology involved too... So, which view is correct? I hope this was not partially making reference to something I posted at another post/thread earlier. If I was mistaken then I apologize but if this was indeed referring to what I think it may be.... then I should probably elaborate a little bit more on what exactly I meant by that. I only have one first-hand empirical observation of one tandem skydiving, so that is one subjective data point is hardly conclusive evidence. Prior to skydiving/tandem I had in the past on several occasions read anecdotal accounts that although the "free fall" at terminal velocity segment of skydiving does not feel like falling or dropping or the zero-g sensation, it has been mentioned by some that the first couple of seconds of skydiving (from the moment one jumps out of the aircraft) has the same empty stomach droppy feeling that one gets when a roller coaster suddenly plummets to the ground, or akin to the first fraction of a second when a fast elevator first starts "going down", or a aircraft flying an inverse parabolic curve to match the rate of free fall in vacuum at 9.8 meters per second squared to attempt to simulate zero-gravity, etc.... That feeling is one that I find unpleasant and want to avoid. I think astronauts who spend extended time in space eventually become desensitized to that feeling, adapt and adjust and completely forget that the sensation is even there. In fact they have reported that it is only when they come back down to earth that they feel like they weigh like a ton of bricks.... since the zero-gravity has become the new "norm"... But back to the topic. From a physics standpoint that ""droppy feeling"" you make mention to does not come from "acceleration" per se. It actually comes from a lack of acceleration forces being enacted on said individual, which ironically in a constant gravitational field (ie near earth) means yielding and physically accelerating towards the center of the gravitational object without anything like air resistance getting i the way. (when you step on the gas of your car you feel the increased "acceleration" forces but that doesn't give you the ""droppy feeling"", and imagine being in a powered elevator in a very tall vacuum chamber that "fell to the ground" at exactly 2g (19.6m/s squared) you would FEEL that up was down and down was up and that you were back on the ground again but the ground would actually be pointing toward the sky!... thus it is not acceleration that gives us the "droppy feeling" but a total LACK of any acceleration or vector forces) That is, after all, what "zero-g" is all about. When the summed up composite of all vector forces being enacted on a body cancels out and/or approximates to zero, that is when the "zero g" sensation is highest. It is actually the resistance against falling to earth that creates the sensation of acceleration forces. It may seem counter-intuitive but in essence we are (because we are in the presence of earth, if we were in deep space far away from any huge gravitational object that would be a different story) experiencing acceleration forces when we are stationary and NOT physically "accelerating" and in fact we experience "no acceleration forces" when we are in free fall (in perfect vacuum) and physically accelerate at exactly 9.8m/s2 downwards toward center of earth. When you are stationary and standing on the ground of the earth or sitting in the confines of an airplane (etc) there are platforms holding you up and not allowing you to "fall" at the say if you were in the vacuum of space around earth unconnected and totally suspended in "mid air/space" without being tethered to anything else. So there is a constant 9.8m/s2 force of (gravitational) acceleration on your body. Our body and mind mentally adapts and adjusts to that natural value.... so whenever that force "lessens" we feel that droppy uncomfortable sensation... Think about when you drive your car very fast down a hill... sometimes for a moment you feel the car almost beginning to lose its grip from the ground or suspend in air... and that temporary "lessened gravity" experience gives you like lightheaded, floating, "droppy feeling"... This is why the first few seconds of skydiving theoretically SHOULD feel like "falling" or the "droppy feeling"... if we were on the moon or earth lacked an atmosphere then this "droppy feeling" would never go away until we impacted with the ground (and of course parachutes would not work to slow terminal velocity down from 120mph to 20mph!) Since force of gravity (acc) is constant at 9.8m/s squared, this means velocity increases at a constant rate of g (~9.82 meters per second) and position increases (or altitude decreases in the case of skydiving) at an exponential rate (all this is in ideal conditions of perfect vacuum without atmosphere) .... but because earth does have air and atmosphere what effectively happens is after a few seconds of "falling" (or rather approximate "free falling") the velocity increases to a certain amount whereby the friction caused by the air molecules rubbing along the surface area of the skydiver starts to impede his otherwise constant rate of increasing downward velocity and exponential rate of altitude loss.... and the frictional forces continues to get stronger until it completely counteracts and balances out and cancels out the effects of gravity acc forces on his body. (in essence he becomes a parachute, only difference is the parachute he carries on his back offers a LOT more surface area and thus slows his terminal velocity down from suicidal 120mph to a survivable 20mph) So terminal velocity is a function of surface area of his body (and whatever is attached and connected to it), his total mass, (basically density) and the thickness of the air molecules surrounding him plus the instantaneously gravitational forces (which for the purposes of skydiving, doesn't really change that much) .... In fact it is a misnomer... we tend to think of "terminal velocity" stage of skydiving as "Free falling"... when in fact it is the other way around... the physics term of "free falling" would be more apt to be applied to the first few seconds of jumping out of an airplane and the rest of the way down at "terminal velocity" with not be a true "free fall" because the body is once again suspended on a platform (this time by the friction of this "air cushion" rather than say on an airplane or in an elevator, or on the ground or in a skyscraper, etc) and thus that is why during the skydiving definition of "free fall" (terminal velocity) the "droppy feeling" is gone.... not because there is no more increase in velocity (which is true, pretty much levels out at around 120mph when in arch position) but because like standing on the surface of the ground on earth, the skydiver at terminal velocity in the air also once again feels a constant vertical gravitational acceleration of -9.8m/s2. It is only the first few moment when he first jumps out of an airplane when his downward velocity has not yet had the time to encounter enough air resistance that theoretical he SHOULD feel lthe "droppy feeling" caused by a DECREASE in gravitational forces on his body DUE to his "giving in to gravity" by "free-falling" towards the earth. Jumping out from a skyscraper (or base jumping) or falling from a very tall ladder WOULD probably give one the feeling of that "droppy feeling" for the first couple of seconds... because unlike jumping out from a moving aircraft there would be no vertical movement or temporary lateral forces caused by the relative wind / frictional forces / etc. In fact as far as the body is concerned, definitions of "up" and "down" and "vertical" or "lateral" are meaningless. Visual acuity notwithstanding, the human body itself cannot distinguish between "natural force of gravitational pull" and other artificial means of acceleration forces. The "droppy" zero-g sensation only occurs /happens when there is exactly that, near ZERO (significantly less than 1g aka 9.8m/s2) NET acceleration forces being applied on the human body... When exiting from a 90mph moving aircraft, the first couple of seconds those lateral wind forces DENY the skydiving the brief experience of "zero g" sensation because there are artificial acceleration forces enacted upon him (well actually he is decelerating laterally from 90mph to zero mph the forward velocity of the aircraft due to again air resistance) and thus momentarily when he left the plane his BODY might feel as if the earth rotated 90 degrees and he was still subjected to "gravity"... and then a short couple seconds later when his horizontal spend decreases to near zero (unlike the airplane, he wasn't moving much "forward" anymore) by that time his downward vertical spend would have increased to nearly 120mph to offer enough air resistance to give him back the feeling of 1 g (one gravitational force) just like being back on the ground surface of earth. Therefore, in this configuration, at no time during the fall was he ever in even an approximate zero-gravity situation in which he felt no acceleration forces being acted upon him, and the total vector of said acceleration forces is a combination of lateral forces (wind resistance from the forward velocity of the aircraft) that switched over to vertical forces (wind resistance from reaching terminal velocity)
  11. SHORT VERSION: There is no "falling" sensation to skydiving during any stage of the process at all. It is actually less intense (in terms of gravitational forces) than some of the 3+ Gs roller-coaster rides at Six Flags, etc. In fact the Batman ride is MUCH more uncomfortable than skydiving. The "scared of height" sensation is completely nonexistent with standard skydiving/tandem because from such high altitudes the world below seems so small, so miniature, abstract, detached and removed that you feel more like in outerspace in orbit around the earth than on some high ladder or ledge and about to fall to your death to the ground below. The sensation is like floating on a cushion of air, it neither feels like "falling" nor "flying"... just floating on air with the wind running past your body as if you stuck your head and arms out of the car window going down the highway at 90mph+ . Height is a relative thing and the sensation of altitude depends on attitude and perspective. And the once the chute opens at around 5000ft you are STILL so far above the ground that you don't ever get "falling/ scared of height" sensation at all.... and at that point you go from 120mph+ to less than 20mph+ glide... it feels more like a glider or hot air balloon than being on some bumpy roller coaster ride that is about to drop at moments notice. The landing phase feels like "looking out the passenger window" of an airliner when the airplane comes in for a landing rather than falling out of a ladder or off from a rooftop. //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// I've only had one tandem jump so far and there are - this obviously goes without saying - 99.9999% people here who have had lightyears more experience + raw number of jumps than I have... but I'm posting and replying to your post because I can empathize with your thoughts on this and just wanted to share my own perspective. I think whenever it is the first time we go somewhere new, or do something different that we haven't done before.... the "first time memory" of something is always significantly different than the total recall of the collection of such events after a longer period of time... I'm sure all the experienced skydivers here can still remember their "first time"... but they can never remember it precisely (including the distinctive nueral compulsion nuances) as it happened the first time, even though they think or would like to believe they can. That is why instead of getting my jumped captured on film, I opted to write down the experience as I remembered it that day the happened, because after you have done something long enough you tend to confuse the "average experience" with the first time, and the first time of anything is always very different from the "average experience" of that thing. It is a distinctive FEEL to the first time of any event that gets forgotten and washed away after a while.... it is like waking up remembering a dream and if you wrote it down immediately you'll always recall that distinction.... but if you didn't write it down, after a while you forget it and can never access that unique memory again. ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// I went tandem jumping at north Texas last week of April. The drive was long and a pain in the rear end. When I got there I felt like I had left civilization and drove into the middle of nowhere... the gravel road, farm land everywhere, and general lack of population made everything seem out of place somehow. It was very rural, full of “cowboy” people and everyone that drive gave me a “thumbs up” or some kind of hand gesture... felt strange. I thought I’d be at the DZ for a long time before the flight, but the TI was very fast paced and got to the point quickly. (Which I liked). In less than 30 minutes I was already geared up waiting for the airplane ride. They made me put on a jumpsuit. The jumpsuit seemed really cheaply made, very thin, and not the quality I thought it would be, dirty too... not cleaned. I could see grass stains all around. I had imagined the jumpsuit to be more like an astronaut suit but it was more like a $10 halloween costume. The straps were tighter than I thought it would be, especially on the legs. This was true even before our jump, definitely much more true after the parachute opened. I felt like there was a bulky backpack on me, even though I was not the one carrying the parachute. The hat, plastic hat was ridiculous... served no purpose whatsoever and extremely ugly... didn’t understand why the goggles was secured on the BACK of the hat instead of the front... Goggles fog up easily.... also wind still gets through, as one of my (right eye) contacts was lost on the free fall way down. The airplane was very crowded, didn’t expect to sit in such a open legged staggered arrangement. I thought there would be seats. Or at least I could sit Indian style. It was definitely a weird moment to sit that like that people in front of you and behind you and crammed like that. I didn’t know I had to sacrifice my personal space bubble just to go skydiving. The air up above was very cool, even though it was almost summer. When they opened the airplane door I felt a chilling blow of air/wind.... and thought to myself “just great” now my ears are going to freeze to death on the way down at 120mph winds. But surprising that never happened, the free fall itself didn’t feel cold or uncomfortable at all. The jump was way too short... seemed at most 40 seconds of free fall... jumped lower than 13,500 (more like 13,000 tops) and chute opened HIGHER than 5,000 … about 5,500 feet... meaning only 8000 feet of free fall total... We did a spin just like in the movies, saw the airplane above me as we spun around.... surreal moment... Didn't get the “empty stomach” “zero g” feeling of falling, like disney haunted towers or Six flags superman... probably because of the 90mph vertical wind created a vector force that diverted some of the “gs”... so instead of momentarily zero g.... there were lateral gs... so the “empty stomach” falling sensation (which I find unpleasant) was thankfully not experienced.... and soon in a few seconds quickly transitioned to “air cushion”.... free fall at terminal velocity. In essence, this felt much less discomforting than compared to a rollercoaster ride. I’ll admit when the chute opening it did hurt.... the was this hard “yank” feeling like the seat belt hurting your body/skin when you slammed on the brakes too hard... lasted about 2 seconds and then disappeared... so there definitely is an uncomfortable jerking/yanking sensation when the chute deploys and you decelerate rapidly... but not nearly as bad as if you were to eject from a fighter jet. The view was just like in the movies, Point Break, etc... nothing that special....I thought to myself, this is it? This is no different than watching Point Break or Google Earth! The earth comes at you.... very slowly.... like you are falling in slow motion almost... No falling sensation at all.... it doesn’t feel like flying either.... just an air cushion or like being in one of those skydiving wind tunnels expect you see the scenery of earth down below... This whole “seeing the whole earth below for the first time” can actually be replicated by roller coasters, in fact the harness in skydiving and rollercoaster are/felt comparable... so if feels like being on a roller coaster during its inverted stage, except much higher, and also lasts longer... (40 seconds vs roller coaster 1-2 seconds in that upside down orientations) Just before exiting the aircraft, there was a MOMENT OF sheer terror, anticipation of the unknown and unexpected... for a split second I wished I could back out, tell the Tandem instructor that forget it, I’ll forfeit my jump and lets let the plane to land safely instead of jumping out... On the climb the aircraft angle of attack was rather high... "felt" like a 20-30 degree pitch up.... looked out the windows and it was a nice view seeing airplane takeoff and climb to altitude from the fore/front of the aircraft, looking back at the rear view mirror. No seats in aircraft, seat belt seemed useless... I couldn’t even maneuver myself to strap it on. The “door” was like a mini garage door, or one of those storage places.... like U-Haul.. The airplane wasted no time climbing to altitude... extremely fast and efficient in climbing and getting to the point... but still,,,, even so... it felt like taking longer than I would have wanted... seemed like to take a long time to climb to altitude... kept looking at my altimeter and can’t believe it only climbed “3000”,”6000”,”10000” and still needed more height to go. On the way up ears were popping , I was afraid that on the way down it would hurt from the rapid height loss, but actually no unpleasant sensation at all, come be becauseI kept my mouth open partially during the skydive... After chute deployed, there were moments when gusts of wind changed direction and it “hurt”.. I could feel the Gs and the load increase and the resultant stress on the straps, especially the leg straps... I could not fully enjoy the scenery on the way down because keep thinking about the slight pain of the leg straps and how tight it was and how my entire weight was on those straps... Can/had moments of fleeting fear of what if someone the straps broke, or if the link between me and the tandem instructor brought, then in a split second my entire life would be over... and it would be a fast, hard, nasty fall to death... this dreadful feeling was intensified whenever the gust forced more Gs, or when the instructor turned the direction and the straps felt tighter as a result... On the way down the diver flew circuit patterns down to final approach... very hard to accurately judge exact high, distance, forward velocity... did not know when to try and stand up, as a result froze in the legs up and heels pointing forward position until we both smacked the ground and fell on our bottoms , but instead I also fell on my right ankle and strained it badly in the process... dilemma between extending my feet too early and risk toppling over and face plant and extending too late and slamming down and not getting any support... didn’t make it better that the instructor never briefed me on the butt landing procedure, only talked about “stand up” which was never done... Also not good that I was taller than my instructor, and weighed more than him... Worried about bird strikes. but told that birds can hear skydivers falling from above, and that birds don’t usually fly higher than 3000 ft, and that we opened chute at 5000 and stabilized at 4000... going from 120mph to 20mph... Got a little bit of dust, grass in my mouth, unsure whether it was from the falling free fall and my mouth open, or from the actual hard landing on the ground and the dust from the drop zone... Looking down, it seemed just like in the game “base jump PC” and also google earth from above slowly zooming in... expect there was a bit of “windows starfield” “star trek” warp sensation from the wind... expect didn’t actually see the “streaks”... although I think I did imagine it.... and definitely felt it... like looking straight up at the sky when it is raining hard, expect in this case you are looking straight down and it is air molecules and dust particles and not raindrops... There was really no difference compared to being in a wind tunnell.... and surprising the 120mph didn’t FEEL that much more intense than compared to sticking your head and/or hands out of the car at 90mph... something which I have done before. The wind sensation wasn’t as intense nor as strong as I had imagined or thought... The actual free fall experience was WAY too short... I looked at my altimeter maybe one time total during the fall, at ~6000... instructor pointed to his altimeter around 5500 and a few seconds later opened the chute... The post open chute glide to the ground felt it lasted longer than the actual free fall experience... I would have preferred the other way around... Gliding down it hurt, the straps... during free fall it was very peaceful.... except my right eye contacts fell out. The goggles was not wind proof... I was easily able to move my hands and arms around and realigned my goggles several times... Wind resistance didn’t feel that strong. During FF the instructor did some yaw turns left and right.... I was surprised he could yaw so fast and nimble... definitely felt the rotational torque.... From moment out of airplane to stabilized arch freefalling about 3 seconds (it seemed very quick) More scared after chute opened than before... least scary part was the free fall... which felt peaceful and exhilarating, but not as intense as I had imagined... Right before jumping out the airplane.... I thought “this is stupid, what the f*ck am I doing trying to jump out of an airplane!” and prior to this I never jumped out of anything before... much less a dingy little trailor trashy looking airplane without seats... When we were scooting up and to the edge of the plane/open door it felt very scary.... there were no handle down below for me to hold on to or grab... and the handle on top I wasn’t allowed to use... I was told to keep my hands crossed on my chest... the moment I put my legs out I felt the 90 mph winds blowing my legs from the front towards the back of the plane... I could see the planes elevators and wondered for a moment what if I struck that on the way out.... It felt like Instructor pushed me to the very edge of the plane, I thought for a moment I was going to accidentally fall out early/prematurely and then take him with me … even before it was time for us to fall out... I thought this because I had nothing to hold on to, the wind was blowing my legs out and backwards to the plane, and the instructor himself didn’t seem to be holding onto anything either.... in fact I think he was holding on to my hands.... I felt like on the very edge of a swimming pool, about to lose my balance, just wanting/waiting for my friend to push or tip me over.... he did the “swinging” motion twice and then on the third time finally we did the plunge.... And it didn’t feel like falling at all..... wasn’t scary... just a bit disorientating.... I was pretty much looking forward/ facing forward, and instead of feeling like I was falling around and flipping in all sorts of directions... it just felt like the earth/ 3d space itself was roating/spining arouind/relative to me... and that I hadn’t moved at all... but instead the 3d space around me moved and re orientated... I think the forward 90mph wind/forces distracted from the immediate feeling of “falling” (like on a rollercoaster) and that empty stomach zero g feeling.... and then quickly it transitioned to arched floating air cushion wind tunnel position... When we finally fell out of the plane it wasn’t as terrifying as the sheer anticipation of the event, it all happened very quickly and no time to think or analyze the situation or get much fearful. I don't’ know what falling from a skyscraper feels like but the actual falling out and falling did not feel the least bit scary at all... it felt relaxing for me. It was the anticipation of falling out of the plane...the anticipation of pulling open the chute the jerk/yank of the chute itself when opening... the fear that the chute might have issues and not opened correctly or got tangled or we would need to use the reserve chute.. And as we got close the to the ground also the fear of not landing near the drop zone, what if we hit a telephone pole or wire, house, tree, landing in a nearby lake or pond, etc.. slammed into a car? All the tiny objects coming into view and it becoming “down to earth” and real again...From up above they were all miniatures, so far way, abstract in a way... talk about a “bigger picture views”. … The real reason skydiving is much less scarier than roller coaster ride is because from so high above everything becomes "abstract" and "removed/detached/far away"... and you feel more like being "in orbit" around earth than about to fall to your death.... so ironically, skydiving (from a scared of heights/ scared of falling perspective) is much LESS scary than some of the roller coaster rides. (unless you get a malfunction) On way up airplane ride, nice that I could see Oklahoma past that red river.... I was thinking, wow that is weird... almost to another state! Didn’t really get a chance to look up at the open parachute that much... But I saw part of it while we were tilting/changing direction... The straps were too uncomfortable for me to pay attention or be curious to anything else. Disappointed that instructor never talked about AAD, reserve chute, how to steer, didn’t show me how to pack a chute, what to pull... how to flare... or any of that... this was basically just a roller coaster ride without the roller coaster. The up side is that it let me enjoy it more and otherwise i would be in information overload as everything happened so quickly.. Gave us a cheap metal ladder to climb on the plane. I thought to myself I’ve been on plenty of airplanes before but never in such style (SARCASM) I couldn't believe they were cramming so many people in that one plane... at least eight people, if not nine... and if my cameraman had been there would be close to ten people, not counting that one pilot.. so a total of ten or eleven people on board. I knew that if anything happened to that plane, there was no way everyone would jump out in time, especially if under 5,000 feet... so that put my “if the tiny plane has engine issues we can parachute out” fantasy to rest. So skydiving is at least as risky as the plane falling out of the sky, and it was a single engine plane.... weakest link principle... I was more scared of something happening to the plane than something happening to our parachute. The sensation of “rotation” at VR and flying up off the ground felt much like that of in a jet or much larger plane... When the first two experienced skydivers jumped off at the same time the plane felt suddenly lighter, like when two fat people get out of a car... or when someone steps out of a some fishing boat... We went last... interesting to see all the other people go before us... in a sense it made it calmer, (no one else there to watch or observe or to sense or see how scared you are) in another sense the anticipation build up was killing me... (from watching everyone else go, like being at the doctors and seeing other take shots and still waiting your turn) Seemed just like watching skydiving in the movies.. kinda like “just as I expected it would be”.... nothing special. I should lose weight, at 199 I was pushing the max for tandem... and even solo jump is 220 max... the wing load probably caused a heavier landing... also being heavier make the straps feel tighter, hurt more... I realized that I needed to increase my flexibility by perhaps doing resistance stretching... my legs couldn’t rise as high as I wanted... I was not flexible at all... and flexible people tend to have less injuries from falls...It was the combination of the suit, the straps, the weight on the straps, etc that made it near impossible to pull legs up high enough, keep them close together and out straight enough. I fell on my butt and ankle almost simultaneously., I can’t remember which one first... I definitely felt too heavy, and wasn’t prepared for the actual abruptness of the landing itself... I think if I had been lighter the landing would be softer... and if I had a taller instructor it would have been better. As I was freefalling I looked out at the horizon … it was not too windy a day, clear blue skies, sunshine at 1:00PM CST …. and the horizon looked just like from an airplane, no difference... the ground below looked just like as if you were starting at birds eye view of google earth or google maps... I did not look up at the sky, but i imagine it would not be so different from looking up at the sky from down on the ground,since barely two miles up high was not enough to make the sky appear that much darker or blue-er The running/blowing wind during free fall was louder but didn’t seem THAT much louder than sticking your head out the car windows going 90.... cause face it, 90mph and 120mph isn’t that much of a difference... I would have liked to fall faster, but that would mean even less free fall time... During freefall I didn’t get anything stuck in my ears or my mouth or my eyes.... I was afraid I would strike a bird on the way down but that never happened. During glide it wasn’t “dead silence” I could hear the wind blowing on the chute, etc... The world below seemed calm, almost lifeless like a static image from satellite. While I definitely see the appeal in skydiving, and would like to do it again under better circumstances, I can’t see doing this too often much less everyday like the instructors do... As fun as it seems, I know that I would in time adapt to the excitement of it and lose interest if I overdid it.
  12. Check first to see if the PNF is conscious first. If also not then...if the flightplan is already programmed into the FMS/FMC/CDU just make sure the appropriate annunciator lights are activated at the right times and that the aircraft is in the correct modes. Use autothrottle, fly the flight director or in VNAV/LNAV/etc modes and if aircraft has FBW systems you don't even have to worry about stuff like trimming, turn coordination, etc declare emergency, get clearance for landing and let the aircraft land and flare itself by using the systems by doing a ILS CAT III autoland. At decision height be prepared to do a TOGA if stuff goes south. Just make sure to capture localizer and glideslope prior to that and at 50ft radio altimeter callout bring throttles back to idle, reversers activated to full position once on ground, back to idle at 80knots.
  13. being a TM I think YOU are far too concerned about being strapped to a guy. that says a lot about YOU. IMHO. Sure, landing by yourself has got to be safer than landing with a dude who has 1000s of landings with multiple wing loading. It is always entertaining reading stuff here! Not really. I don't even like the camera man dude getting in my face I definitely don't feel comfortable strapped to another guy. A female TI would be another matter, but even so that would be weird. Some people have larger personal space bubbles than others.
  14. Well yes, there is ALWAYS that. There is a lot of mystique surrounding skydiving (I don't mean for the "in" community but speaking in terms of the "general" population) and a lot of it can be disclosed.... and explained away... I'm not attempting to trivialize the mechanics and dynamics of skydiving (there again is the epistemological dilemma of simply not knowing what one does not know) but to me, imho, skydiving is not exactly rocket science. I'm sure to be good at it the actual activity takes mental skill, coordination, timing, concentration, depth perception, muscle memory, etc and a lot more that can only be honed through real life practice... but the principles themselves are simple, borderline trivial, and not very complex. Why is there not (maybe there is, but I've looked and found none) 3d/cg animation that shows frame by frame how skydiving really works.... (a sort of "how stuff works" but in immense 3-dimensional detail) ... basically an Avatar like quality rendering of a virtual skydiver from the moment he packs and inspects his chute, to gearing up, to getting on the airplane to riding to altitude, to jumping out, stabilizing, then opening the chute, gliding down to approach, flaring, landing, taking off his equipment... basically showing the ENTIRE schedule of the quintessentially skydiving in all its glory... in 3d, rendered in real-time, to be replayed as often as one would like, from any perspective or angle, in any rendering mode, etc... An absolute newbie who never heard of skydiving could learn so much from something like that in just a few hours... to get a fundamental conceptual idea of "how" skydiving works, "why" it works and what role and function each part, each equipment and each stage plays in the whole process. Compare that to how it works today. Most DZ in my area don't even offer AFF unless one tandem (SDD does, but not really, they discourage it, and you have to schedule in advance and only one of the days on any given weekend)... I have to drive two hours back and forth (FOUR hours) just to do a tandem and learned almost nothing new from skydiving than I already found out on Youtube.... when had I the correct materials and the right circumstances learn more in four minutes about skydiving than I would spend an entire day at the DZ. Imagine if there was this transparent rendering of chute opening sequence complete with wind vector forces, instantaneous g and velocity and acc information, etc and newcomers can visualize and actually "see" (or see through) moment by moment everything and finally understand mentally exactly what is going on, why everything is the way it is, and how it works in tandem to accomplish the task of slowing down the fall... As it is, I understand nothing can substitute actual experience... but it does seems like there COULD be more efficient ways to SUPPLEMENT learning through videos.... videos alone that are not meant to replace real skydiving and of course one would still have to pass tests and get a license to jump... so I don't see any legal reason why there can't be a comprehensive online video tutorial that teaches the mechanics of skydiving... from how to pack a chute, how to clear malfunctions, how to do inspections.... everything that can be learned from "real life" instructor can be shown in HD in the comfort of one's home on video.. I mean it is not like the instructor is telepathic and feeds the students knowledge through physic powers... everything is audio/visual anyway... In fact I would argue that as supplementary knowledge video instruction could be very effective... not only because of its potential clarity, (with today's HD resolution it is better than being there in person!) but also it has value as reference that can be replayed again and again... Not everyone (especially new people starting out) has the time or luxury of driving to the DZ whenever they feel like it to get an instructor to explain something to them in person.... I'm not suggesting that AFF can be replaced. Just like no matter what we still will always have driving tests to get a drivers license... its not like someday the govt will allow us to hook up a G27 wheel and pedals to a PS3, play the equivalent of Gran Turismo/ iracing and pass a virtual driving test, snap a pic with a webcam and ship us a drivers license... But good supplementary video instruction through all stages of skydiving can go a long way to bring people up to speed and novices to intermediate or even expert in much shorter time. I used to play a game called "B.A.S.E. Jumping" on the PC (no longer published?) but it was too never simulated many of the details and functional aspects and procedural aspects of skydiving... Too bad there isn't a game (which also serves as a simulator) out there that accurately simulates from at least a physical and systems standpoint all points of the standard skydiving experience complete wit random failures, errors, malfunctions and giving us the ability to correct for them, etc... Just like no matter how good graphics cards get and etc no "sex" simulator is going to teach you the "real thing"... because force feedback, body part orientation, balance, coordination and rhyme cannot be taught in a video no matter how many megapixel, polygons, framerates, or whatever the resolution... a lot of the procedure, systems and functional aspects of skydiving and the mechanisms themselves can be encapsulated on video... everything else is merely practice, practice, practice, but the theories, principles and academic knowledge itself can be easily learned by anyone willing to commit themselves to the activity.
  15. Not to get off subject but have you seen this tech article? YouTube/Vimeo/etc is your friend. If I watch enough of the (sometimes) very good quality videos of all stages of skydiving I can get quite proficient at it just through the mirror neurons that vicariously empathetically learn through simulated stimulation. Virtual muscle memory. The age of "holier than thou" (and I'm directing this more at the so called higher education University diploma mills than the skydiving accreditation community) is about to come to an end. Technology flattens the value of a formal education and makes knowledge available to all.
  16. Perhaps the extra "fat tax" is not about the DZ's bottom line (at least not in any direct way)... perhaps the extra pittance is merely a "tip", a token symbolic gesture the DZ makes to the TI/TM to show appreciation of them taking on the heavier people? And like all emotional gestures, to make it count this has to be publicized and not a behind the doors allocation. This is perhaps the real reason it is not "priced in" by a flat rate. By charging heavy people more and doing it directly and in an open manner, it leaves less room for TI/TM to say "no" and emotionally pressures them into saying "YES". It gives the heavy customer more "power" because now they can say they "paid" for it. Basically, the heavy dude now can (indirectly) insinuate that the TI/TM is a "wuss" if they rejected him/her due to weight issues or concerns when they were under the hard limit. Even though the extra fee is not equitable to the extra risk. After running some simplistic numbers it now seems more like an emotional play on the TI/TM than a full and straightforward "financial" compensation of any proportional or equitable means. This tax is probably less about the DZ trying to recuperate lost margins from heavy people than appeasing and making an emotional appeal backed by a token symbolic financial gesture to the TI/TM to take them on at all, otherwise like you said the DZ is out the $300 completely. Perhaps the heavier people should be THANKING the DZ for this physiologically manipulative (just my theory) tax that compels the TI/TM to take on heavy people that they otherwise would turn down?
  17. The standard price for a tandem jump at one of the DZ near me is about $230. At SDD they charge additional $20 for anyone over 200lbs and max out with a hard limit at 210lbs for tandem. So you are correct. Not only is the extra fee less than 10% of the standard price, it also applies to only an extremely narrow segment of the population (those between 200 and 210 pounds) I don't see this being a substantial "money maker" for the DZ or the TI/TM. For one, not enough tandem pax would fall into that slim category, and secondly the extra fee is only marginally higher than the standard cost, and like you said, less than 5% more than the VIP tandem package... so it is minimal impact on the bottom line... It is definitely less than weight proportional. A 90 lbs girl gets charged $230, if it was scaled then a 180lbs dude would pay double that at $460... but instead even a 209lbs guy would "only" pay $20 more at $250. This makes me believe the primary purpose of the "tax" is NOT to deter heavy people from skydiving, otherwise the tax margin would be MUCH higher. Nor is it a marketing ploy to "make an extra quick buck" by "discriminating against the heavy" and using weight as an excuse to find any reason to charge more and prey on the price inelastic nature of the demand for tandem. (again, if that was the case, they'd charge a lot more for the fat tax) So it seems like all else being equal, the DZ would rather have the "fat" dudes business than as opposed to not have it at all.... Would the extra $20 cover for the extra 10lbs of weight? (actually the average weight difference would only be five or so pounds in this case) Sure... but it is not a perfect gradient and not to scale... I think there is more to it than that. There is a much bigger difference (weight, fuel, fatigue, financial, etc) between a 99lbs girl and a 199lbs dude, even though both fall into the same price category, than vs compared to a 209lbs being charged merely $20 more as opposed to a 199lbs guy. Though perhaps the "last ten pounds" towards the max ceiling possess more of a risk and danger than the "first 100 pounds"... If this was supposed to be a way to recuperate the extra costs of fuel, wear and tear, TI/TM fatigue for the DZ, I don't even think it does it fully. Almost seems like a pittance. Probably as you suggested it seems more like a "tip" and a "little extra something" to motivate the TI/TM to take on a heavier person, otherwise the DZ might lose that pax business entirely. If anything, it now seems like it is the tandem instructors themselves (and not the pax, not the DZ) who are given the shorter end of the stick in this situation... In any case I don't think it is unreasonable. In fact it seems more than fair. They should probably start charging more at 180lbs and make it progressive... each extra pound after that means paying an extra dollar (or two) until hitting the 210lbs maximum... especially for states that Texas full of heavy people.
  18. You shouldn't be in the skydiving "business" if that is your attitude. Hard weight limits are there for a reason. For protection of both the pax and the TI/TM. In any case I did not surpass any soft nor hard weight limits and was not charged a "fax tax", so I don't see where your lose weight comment fits in to any of this. I too agree a life is not worth risking if you have so much to lose. Skydiving is an inherently risking sport regardless of tandem or solo, taking heavier pax or light pax. It would seem that the DZ's that charge a tier pricing structure have simply "priced in" that risk factor, and they seem to think that a heavier person risk (on your life) is worth the extra 20 bucks. Hey, it is a business, you aren't doing it as a charity or for fun or for the sake of giving your pax "pleasure" either... that is the nature of the industry and it is a double-edge sword. Why do you always make reference and mention to bowling? Do you like that a lot? Why don't you go become a bowling instructor?
  19. Doesn't matter, you were wrong then too. The fact is that it's a physical reality that it's more work to take a heavy tandem. Not a fat tandem, a heavy tandem. TIs have no insurance, no workmans comp, no benefits, no profit sharing, and they make no money when it rains or when the wind blows too hard. They show up each day with a limited amount of energy and strength, and if a tandem is going to require more of that than average, then the TI deserves to compensated for that. Nobody is being charged extra for being old, or ugly, or because of their race or religion, there's a physical reality at play and if you exceed a certain weight, you have to pay extra. How much does the average TI get paid? I didn't know they don't have insurance.. is it because being in this industry insurance would be crazy expensive? or simply that DZ business strategy being structured in a way that does not afford them any coverage at all? I don't think anyone really thinks charging a weight surcharge (aka "fat" tax) is bona fide discrimination. Otherwise this practice would have been removed one way or another a long time ago. In my perspective it comes down to charging a tax for over a certain weight limit (regardless of whether or not it is fat or muscle or water) **vs** having a fixed hard limit and not going over it no matter what, and thus not charging a tax at all... (basically no tiered pricing)... One thing is clear, in BOTH cases there is still a "hard" hard limit. No tandem instructor is going to take a dude that weighs 500lbs (for extreme example) skydiving for ANY amount of money. So there are physical (as in laws of physicals) hard limits that dictate maximum weight (and still be reasonably safe) regardless of DZ practices, business strategy, attitude on the subject, perspective... If the DZ's currently charging the tiered pricing were somehow FORCED to revert to one price scheme they would simply artificially lower the max weight limit and not service the heaviest segment of the population at all (which yields them the least return on investment)... after all, the heaviest people give them the lowest margins, so if the DZ has a lot of customers they can very well afford to turn away the heaviest passengers and give priority attention to the skinny 90lb females in bathing suits. It is human nature to go for the lowest hanging fruit first. They don't give skinny girls a cheaper price because there are certain fix costs, like gear rental, paying the instructors, electric bills, maintence costs, etc that is not weight dependent... but skydiving is a very weight orientated sport in certain other aspects (including the airplane ride up to altitude, weight affecting the wear and tear of the chute, gear, and faster fall rate thus correlating to risk of injury on landing, general fatigue of the TI/TM, etc) so the business is structured around that. Airlines, and even UPS/USPS/Fedex are doing the same thing. I think it really comes down to DZ are discouraging (but not in a bona fide "discriminatory" way) heavier (regardless of whether it is fat, muscle, water, poop, etc) people from skydiving BECAUSE the skinner/smaller people are where the highest profit margins are, and all else being equal, they would rather spend time doing as many light weight pax as possible and as few "heavy" wide bodied pax as possible... This is human nature, basic business sense... No one can fault them for that... work smarter not harder right? After all, who doesn't want to get most bang for buck and pursue after highest ROI ? So it comes down to the "tax" being the "difference" that makes it equitable and worthwhile for the DZ to take a heavy person vs a light person. So instead of the DZ telling heavier people, "NO.. we'd rather take a lighter person instead.." they name an extra amount that would make it financially and psychologically "worth it" to them to take a heavier person up in the air... The tiered pricing simultaneously serves as a deterrent for heavier people to go skydiving (unless skydiving is a very price inelastic activity? but I don't know) and at the same time recuperates their margin loses from the ROI hit they take from taking a bigger dude. The DZs that offer one flat rate (while it may seem more equitable and fair at first glance) are actually and effectively simply pricing everything in.... so that effectively the skinner people are (even more) subsidizing part of the ride for heavier people.... After all there ain't no free lunch and monies don't grow on trees so that has to come from somewhere... A more cynical view could be that skydiving is a very price inelastic activity (especially first time tandem jumps) less than 1% (approx?) of the population have jumped, so those that DO make up their minds to do it certainty won't hesitate to pay the extra $20 ... so on top of and in addition to the aforementioned reasons, weight could be just a convinent "differentiator" that gives the DZ an excuse to make another quick buck while they are at all.... Either way, ultimately everything has to balance out... so the pricing scheme is simply a difference of ideology of the allocation of revenue. Which passengers should pay more. And I think in a sport that is so weight sensitive, mass is the biggest differentiation of pricing. I think DZs that don't get enough business would not implement a fat tax, because they would rather have that person's business than nothing at all if the heavy dude was turned away by the extra fee. But being that skydiving is not a commodity and the general public do not consume this activity, it is probably price inelastic enough that even THOSE DZs can get away with a marginal tax. (again, I would think that most people who make up their minds about skydiving do not get deterred by a mere $20 extra fee) and to be honest I don't think the heavier people would really mind it that much anyway. They pay more for food, they pay more for more aviation fuel consumed, etc. So this makes me think the primary reason the DZ's that charge a flat rate are psychological. They want to appear to others and themselves to be more "equitable"... but in fact are inadvertently disadvantaging the lighter segment of the population by making them subsidize a part of the heavier population... So I do think a more atomic and granular approach to billing and allocation is more appropriate all things considered.
  20. Well as I said in an ideal world I wish newbies (myself, etc) would be allowed to rent / purchase gear, go to a DZ, sign whatever liability waivers, watch a comprehensive and interactive video course on skydiving and then let go at it. I understand we do not and never will live in such ideal worlds... just as DZ IS a business, and like any other venture, it has to do what it has to do to turn a profit and strive... Skydiving is a privilege not a "right" so a "fat tax" would not be discrimination because unlike the example with Rosa Parks, falling out of an airplane - unlike bus transportation - is not a "public service" or a living necessity... The DZ can charge whatever they want and do the tier pricing if they wish, ultimately it is a business and they will adjust to supply/demand... I've always been interested in all things flight, aviation, space related... whether it is general aviation, flight simulator, spacecraft and model rockets, or skydiving. For whatever reason(s) I just never really got to skydiving until now (the one tandem) I'm not a "sport" type of person at all, don't really work well in groups, no tattoos, don't drink, don't curse, don't smoke or do drugs, etc... and I definitely wouldn't "fit it" with the skydiving culture and said generalized archetypes. And of course as individual we all view things and life from different perspectives and angles... to me skydiving is something that is closer to flight/aviation than it is to a so called extreme sport. Two other related things that I've never tried and still want to do are the wind tunnel and the zero gravity ride... so you see I view skydiving along those lines... in fact for me it is all about the freefall... the parachute part is just an afterthought (but a necessary afterthought... lol) Sure wind tunnel kinda does the same, but without the scenery of course... I'm not trying to trivialize nor negate the fact that skydivers with D licenses worked their butt off through perseverance, dedication, skill, etc to get to their positions... and it is something I would like to continue doing (once my feet gets better) and at this point in my life I'm not married, no kids, no girlfriend, etc... so it is the ideal stage in my life to do skydiving (when you got nothing you got nothing to lose) because no matter what the statistics say, fact is skydiving IS a dangerous activity and it is not something I would continue to pursue if I had better things (or rather people) in my life to spend time with.
  21. I cant believe you are equating a fat tax to racism. the smaller the dropzone the easier it would be to absorb tbh. its the large tandem factories, doing hundreds and hundreds of jumps a week, who have to buy new gear yearly and perform 100 jump checks on gear every couple of weeks and are constantly changing kill lines and drogues and linesets, that need to pay careful attention to these things. edit; for what its worth and so that you can just discount my opinion without further thought I believe airlines should charge a fat tax so I definitely have no problem with dropzones doing it although if I owned my own place I probably wouldnt charge one myself. I'm not sure why you think I'm a troll. All I can say is everything I have written is the truth (see att below) and if you don't believe me, well, what can I say... sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. Also, some here have mistakenly thought I was charged a "fat tax"... this is incorrect. I stated very clearly in my original post that I was NOT charged a fat tax because I was NOT over the weight limit. I only mentioned the so-called "fat tax" in passing because this was my first experience with skydiving/tandem/etc and thought it was something novel and new to me. But my intent was not to complain about the extra fee, in any case no extra fee was incurred anyway. I paid $409 for the tandem VIP package. I simply wanted a good skydiving experience and could care less (and thus avoided) the camera dude, the DVD disc of video and still shots, or the bottle of wine, etc... I had always wanted to go skydiving and simply never "got to it"... I realize that is my fault that I procrastinated in life, not the DZ's nor TI/TM's. This was a last minute thing and I was just thankful that they could get me up in the air at all... so I was more than happy to pay whatever cost. Ideally I would have liked a solo "real" skydiving experience, but due to the way business is ran the DZ only offers that on certain days of the weekend and even then arrangements would probably have to have been made in advance... thus, my only option was a tandem. So I settled for less than what I wanted. To me, the best part about skydiving is the free-fall experience. I could personally care less about the dingy little airplane with no seats and the parachute almost choking me alive on opening... or the bad landing and broken ankle for that matter... or the whole sub-"culture" that revolves around the sport. It is the activity itself that I love, not the regulation, the FAA, the USPA, the DZs, the other jumpers or the so called camaraderie. The purpose of this post was to get perspective from more experienced jumpers what solo landing is like compared to tandem, not to "troll". (images too large to attach to this site, I uploaded png pics to Amazon servers)
  22. Tandem is a business. TI has to risk his/her life every time they make a jump so of course it is going to be more expensive than say Six Flags roller-coaster ride. Everything is about monies these days. Tandem is much higher margin than AFF / student... So if a DZ could get all Tandem passengers all the time then that is probably what they will cater to... And had I gone to Disneyland I would not have ended up with a broken ankle... so I mean the ice cream you were talking about is not necessary. If anything, I just wish it wasn't all so regulated and so bureaucratic. In an ideal world first time jumpers should be able to rent a gear and go jumping by themselves without tandem and without two instructors holding them on the sides. I mean it is not like we didn't have to sign a waiver releasing the DZ from responsibility and liability anyways, so I don't see why skydiving should be so heavily regulated since it is our own life in our hands anyway.
  23. Care to explain? I think anytime someone leaves an aircraft, deploys a parachute, and flies it to the ground to prevent death, it's called a skydive. I did 2 tandems before any solo jumps, and a couple more while getting my tandem rating. I never felt like it was gay. And it doesn't cross my mind as a TI either (unless my male student is gay, but they are always super professional about it). Like I said, that is usually the case. I haven't botched a tandem landing or hurt anyone yet (although there were cases on gusty days I was sure it was gonna happen), but I bet that day is coming if I stick with it. And I also bet that everyone in those YouTube videos has landed hard more than a few times. It happens. Unfortunately, if you jumped a different day, with a different instructor, or simply sooner or later in the day than you did, this injury probably wouldn't have happened and none of this would be a concern to you. If you jump solo the landings will most likely be pretty rough until you learn the sight picture and timing to correctly flare. To compensate for this you'll learn to PLF to help prevent injury until you get better at it. Then, once you're really good at it, you might take up swooping and a whole new world of botched landings and faceplants will be open to you I just meant it is an awkward position and generally seems weird to do a tandem when both the instructor and the passenger are of the same gender, especially if both are males. It is just my personal preference but I don't feel comfortable getting that close to someone, especially if it is another dude. In fact had the DZ allowed solo on weekdays there is no way I would have settled for a tandem. He did the jumping out, the stabilization, he deployed the drogue chute, pulled the ripcord, glided the parachute down for landing, and his legs impacted first... I know technically tandem counts as skydiving, but in actuality it felt like I didn't really have to do anything, just a passenger.
  24. That is why I was asking if solo landings would be any better. I live in TX but if I ever traveled to California, Hawaii, Florida or any of them non landlocked states I really love to do a water landing by myself. I understand that at higher altitudes water is not "soft" and the impact is same as hitting concrete... but in this case had I landed in water there is no way I would have broken my ankle... It seems many here don't recommend water landings. But are there any DZ anywhere in the US that offers that? Ever since watching Point Break as a kid that's something I always wanted to do. (yes, I know the skydiving portrayed in that movie is not realistic) I have no problem swimming and would not drown.