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Everything posted by FlyingRhenquest

  1. FlyingRhenquest

    AFF at the end of the month

    If you'd told me any of the stuff I'd be doing in AFF a year before I did it, I'd have laughed at you. I was also a bit worried about my first malfunction as it didn't happen until around jump 160, but it was like I'd had the AFF training a day earlier when it happened, and I cut away and got to the ground otherwise uneventfully. The neat thing about this is every single person who goes through the program has a unique experience, even though the program is completely standard. We all have things we have problems with, like door fear or being able to hold a heading on jump 3, but things no one else could have predicted are going through your head as well. The best advice is try not to worry too much about the future until it gets here, and deal with what's in front of you right now. You'll be surprised at how much you're capable of, when you finally get there.
  2. FlyingRhenquest

    Cross Country Skydiving Trip!!

    I'd say Skydive Arizona in Eloy, but you'd have to go south to I10 to get there, and that might be too far out of your way. From there you can backtrack a bit to I25 and head north and hit Out of the Blue and Mile Hi in Colorado or keep going west and do the various California dropzones on your way up. If you're coming through in the winter, Eloy and California might be the best options. Shit gets scary north of the northern Colorado border in the winter. Wyoming, Montana and Utah have turnstiles out on the interstate they can use to shut it down when the snow gets so bad they can't deal with it.
  3. FlyingRhenquest

    Denver Locals

    Mile Hi in Longmont has fast planes and a huge landing area. The packing area is very nice. They don't fly Tuesdays or Wednesdays. I'm told landing here is pretty fast but I've never seen a visitor have a problem with it.
  4. FlyingRhenquest

    Almost 25 Years Later: Some Hazards of Resurrection

    You don't get much in the way of spotting at the dropzones I've jumped at, as the pilots are usually pretty good at it (Except for that ONE time...) But we have more horizontal flyers now too. Do much of that and you'll have to know where the spot is that you're aiming for and be pretty good at hitting that mark. So you can still get some practice at it. And if you do anything off-dz, like hot air balloon jumps, you're going to have to find your own place to land. So you're right back to spotting again, there. It's still a useful skill to have and it's always a good idea to look before just jumping out like some sort of lemming.
  5. FlyingRhenquest

    Sense of peace in freefall

    Oh yeah, I actually relaxed for the first time in the wind tunnel. I hit the air and just felt all my muscles just relax into it. Skydiving's pretty much the same way now. I relax as soon as the door opens and the cold air hits me. In freefall and in the tunnel, I always feel like I'm just going to melt away in the wind. Which... is kind of weird, I guess, but there you go.
  6. FlyingRhenquest

    Shaky hands after landing.

    Yep. Good ol' Adrenaline.
  7. FlyingRhenquest

    New plane jumper

    Ooh. You should pop over to the Bonfire and give Promise5 a holler. Skydive Arizona in Eloy is pretty nice to visit in the winter. You pretty much have an excuse to go running around the world jumping out of planes now. Doesn't pretty much everyone fly up there? Maybe you could talk a private pilot into letting you jump out of his plane. Your spotting skills will get a crazy workout doing that, but it could be fun. They just need to file a NOTAM with the FAA and find a suitable landing area for you.
  8. FlyingRhenquest

    Reserves Smaller than Main

    I have a mirage G4 with an Icarus Safire 2 230 and a PD Optimum 218 in it. This was not a problem at all for me the one time I've had a reserve ride on it so far.
  9. FlyingRhenquest

    New AFF Student w/ massive door fear!

    Yes, the door's scary. And yes, you do it anyway. That's kind of the point, isn't it? I think you need to see that you can do it and do it well. With 20 minutes in the tunnel, stability shouldn't be much of an issue. You know how to get stable, right? If the noise is the problem, maybe talk to your instructor about wearing ear plugs. They usually want to talk to you on the ride up, but perhaps you could put them in when you're coming around to jump run. If you can get past it, the door's just a door. The door in your head is a lot scarier than the door on the plane.
  10. FlyingRhenquest

    New sport, new experiences

    It's really not super-demanding. I was pretty out-of-shape when I started. I'm still not particularly athletic. Basically no endurance to speak of. Perhaps a tandem jump is more difficult, especially since you don't have the advantage of knowing what's going to happen. I never did one of those, so I can't say. Tunnel's pretty hard -- first time I did 6 minutes in the tunnel, I was sore for three days. I think you have a pretty good chance of that happening even if you're in reasonable shape, since you're not using them in the ways they expect to be, for much longer than a regular skydive. I did notice early on that I needed to build up an endurance to skydiving that unfortunately doesn't seem to translate well to anything else. You also learn to relax and not try to muscle your way through the air. A lot of my early effort was self-inflicted. Flow with the wind to achieve your goals, and it's a lot easier than trying to force the wind to do what you want. I also found flying a wingsuit to be much more of an effort than a normal skydive, but it didn't take long to get used to it. I think it's because I already knew about the flowing with the wind thing. For whatever that's worth. Hopefully at least some of that might help you in your journey. Good luck!
  11. FlyingRhenquest

    Banzai Skydiving?

    * Citation needed
  12. Coming up on 400 now, having started in July of 2012. I'd guesstimate neighborhood of 11 grand on non-coach jumps. AFF and coach jumps were somewhat more expensive. I've also spent a similar amount in equipment since I started.
  13. FlyingRhenquest

    New student from Atlanta

    Cool. We all went through the same stuff. It's surprising how fast you improve, really. Does Atlanta have a wind tunnel yet?
  14. FlyingRhenquest

    Is it safe for me to get trained to skydive?

    Sure. Safeish. See how you handle an AFF jump. Could have just been too tight tandem harness or something. Maybe you just forgot to breathe. It's easy to forget to breathe. I'm pretty sure I did my entire AFF 1-4, ride to altitude and all, without actually breathing.
  15. FlyingRhenquest

    Hello from Colorado

    Looks like you flared either way too late or not at all, but the video quality and the very short clip of the landing make it difficult to tell for sure. Was that the Nav 300 they put you on? I had the worst time with flaring on their big Navs. Talk with your instructor about doing some practice flares once you get deployed -- deploying at 5500 gives you some time to experiment. You might also want to practice your PLF a couple more time on the nice soft packing mats and always be ready to do them until you get your landings sorted out. Actually just talk to your instructor in general, about your last landing specifically and how to improve it. Even if you get the same instructors next time, they will likely have to be reminded what happened and should then be able to give you some constructive advice on how to fix it. If you get there early in the morning (around 7:30 - 8 AM) on a weekend, they're usually less frantic and the air's usually better. It gets a bit bumpy in the afternoon, even if we don't have rain. If there's a guy with a GoPro on your load, you might be able to talk them into trying to video your next landing, too. Most of them will be getting down before you do.
  16. FlyingRhenquest

    Starting AFF in 3 weeks YEW!

    Arching pretty much puts the rest of your posture in order. Your arch is where your stability is coming from. The main thing to be careful of with your shoulders is that you don't roll them forward as you reach for your pilot chute. I have watched a few people progress through the wind tunnel and it seems like their posture does improve as part of that experience. I'm not entirely sure if it's something about the body position it forces on you or they just weren't that athletic before and that any amount of exercise helps with that. Or maybe they're just more confident now. If you're near a wind tunnel at all, you'll probably be encouraged to put a few minutes in at one. My instructors suggested it after my AFF 1 and I actually hadn't heard about the place until then. It made a world of difference with my flying. I had the worst problem with leg position. I'd be all like turning and couldn't figure out why and looking at the video I'd see I'd have one leg or the other up. The more practice you can get at this, the better!
  17. FlyingRhenquest

    Hello from Florida

    Welcome! No one's very good at it at AFF level 3. Check again in a couple hundred jumps!
  18. FlyingRhenquest

    Coming back to skydiving

    Yeah, more expensive but I reckon you're going to like some of the new equipment. I had to borrow a F111 canopy made in 1990 for a while. It steered like a cow and had no flare whatsoever. I never did manage to stand up a landing on it. Any of today's canopies are much more fun to fly. The first time you get on a reasonably loaded ZP elliptical, it'll blow your mind.
  19. FlyingRhenquest

    Wisdom for new jumpers

    They do a pretty good job of feeding you the information you need as you need it. Don't try to look beyond the current jump. I tried that a couple times, though there was no way I'd be ready to accomplish the later jump's objectives in just a couple of jumps, and then found I was able to when I got there. The one thing I REALLY wish I'd done was get video of my first jump. Would have added another $100 to the jump, but I think it would have been worth it.
  20. FlyingRhenquest

    Skydiving with tinnitus?

    I've seen several people using those orange foam ones, but don't know when they put them in. A skydive is loud, but not as loud as an indoor skydiving wind tunnel. I lost an earplug halfway through a session in there one time without noticing it. That wasn't fun, but didn't seem to do any lasting damage either. If you do use earplugs, just make sure you can hear your instructor on the plane. During AFF they usually check with you to make sure you can remember the dive flow and stuff. Plane's pretty loud too, by the way. That might actually do more damage to your hearing than the skydives, over time.
  21. FlyingRhenquest

    How big is skydiving?

    Eeh, well [url]USPA Skydivers...[/url]
  22. FlyingRhenquest

    old time jumper wants to get back into it

    The new ZP canopies fly better than the one's he was used to. I jumped one of those old F111 canopies for a while. Thing flared like a cow. He might find a new ZP 240 or 260 much more to his liking. I'd suggest he hit a tunnel for about 10 minutes if there's one conveniently nearby, then do the AFF training because really a lot has changed in the last couple decades. Maybe find a DZ that has a decent selection of rental gear and try a few canopies. He might actually find a Safire 2 or a Sabre 2 to his liking, even if he's never going to get really aggressive with it.
  23. Definitely discuss your experience so far with the instructor you've found, and make sure you understand your dive flow and objectives before each jump. The spin you mention is fairly common for people when they reach the point where their coach lets go of them for the first time. Normally at this point someone will jump in and suggest doing a few minutes in an indoor skydiving facility. If you have one near you, it's worth taking advantage of. Lots of skydivers make it past this point without one, though. Also usually people tell you to relax, which is rather difficult to understand in this context. I liken it to learning to drive. When you start out, you're all freaked out and stiff and jerky at the controls. As your body learns how to control the vehicle, you relax and all your movements become smoother. It's very similar to skydiving; you're in a new environment and you don't really know how to keep your balance or how large of a movement to make to accomplish a maneuver. As you learn how to deal with that, you relax and your movements become smoother. So right now, try taking a deep breath, hold it for a second and then let it out. Do you feel your body relax as you do? If so, that's kind of the feeling you're looking for. Before you start your count, do the same thing, and smile. Beyond that, listen to your instructor. There are a lot of common problems in AFF, and the instructors know how to help you deal with them. Maybe at 100 skydives you'll look back at this and be like, "Heh."
  24. FlyingRhenquest

    Who makes the most comfortable suit?

    That's a rather odd question, I think. Do you find yours particularly uncomfortable? I just get the cheap wal-mart jumpsuit off the rack at the DZ and it's reasonably comfortable. I don't think it's particularly durable -- neighborhood of 100 or so jumps and a couple hours in the tunnel and it's starting to fall apart, but it is comfortable. I'm still kicking around the idea of having the leather lady downtown make me a leather one. Like I need to fall faster. The idea of spending the about $1000 it'd probably cost in materials and labor to add 20 miles an hour to my fall rate is unappealing enough to keep me from doing it. I imagine if I ever actually did that, it'd also be pretty uncomfortable. Also probably wouldn't smell so great in about 10 jumps or so...
  25. FlyingRhenquest

    The addiction begins...

    haha yep. You're going to be snorting lines of canopy dust off the packing room floor in no time! Have fun!