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  • Home DZ
    Start Skydiving Middletown, OH
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  1. I've not only got a case of winter (several inches of snow forecast for tonight) but also a wicked pneumonia...and I "expire" on 11/13 (my 30 days out of currency....bye, bye). Not exactly what I was envisioning as the end of my season... Part of me wants to chase to warmer climates (after finding a whole lot of quarters in the couch cushions...), but part of me is thinking this winter of a.) getting over the stinkin' pneumonia b.) catching up on the busload of work growing as my doc keeps me stuck on this couch yet another week... c.) doing some yoga and strength training d.) cuddling up with the SIM and my student manual and good YouTube videos and reading here so that e.) I arrive at my home DZ next spring stronger and a more aware student, ready to finalize my "A" and go forward into a happy jumping season.... Thinking positively here...thinking positively here....especially about component a.) Sigh...
  2. Try not to psych yourself out about having to pass every skill on the first try, and the cash involved. I know...I get it. I made it through my AFF jumps without a repeat, but have had to redo some coach jumps. (Luckily, they are a little...repeat a LITTLE less expensive than an AFF jump.) I realized I was freaking myself out about "flunking," and losing some of the fun of this learning process. So now it's the end of the season for me, and I alllllmost made it to license. So I'll have some relearning to do in the spring...but that gives me time to save up some cash, spend some quality time with the SIM and come back next season ready to learn more. Every jump is a chance to learn.
  3. I'm a small sample (i.e. I'm one person ) but I did an AFF 1 jump and was so overwhelmed. I did remain altitude aware and pulled at the proper time, but it kind of spooked me. Went and did an hour of tunnel (knowing that I am a slow learner of things physical), and my AFF Cat B jump was a thing of beauty. I think the tunnel definitely helped with a lot of "where is my body" awareness and learning control, which allowed me to concentrate on other aspects of the skydives.
  4. As a student, with Vigil AAD, I've ridden the plane down twice for winds. First time was my very first jump. Both of us AFF kiddos had our AADs switched off by the instructors. A second time, as winds were sending me back down, I asked my instructor about turning off the AAD. He told me that the pilot has control of the angle/speed of descent of the plane, but if there was an aircraft emergency, this instructor (the head AFFI) wanted us to have every tool available if we needed them. Wonder if Vigil is a slightly different protocol than Cypres, or if it was instructor choice.
  5. I am also just a student, and have been using the clear goggles my DZ provides (after a good wipedown ). My instructors and coaches have had me not put them on until getting reasonably close to altitude, and also told me that, should they fog up, just a quick lift to allow air in will resolve that (and it does, quickly). Once out of the plane, I've had no problems with them being clear, or my contact lenses staying happily seated (I wear those goggles tight -- and wear the goggle-dent "smiles" on my face the rest of the day).
  6. I am nowhere near 100 jumps....and expect to be a learner forever (of the slow type...). But swoop and dock is my current biggest nemesis...I think I may get the Guinness World Record for Number of Cat H (yup...swoop and dock) coach jumps repeated. Fortunately, I have patient coaches. Unfortunately, I'm running out of jumpable weather...argh.
  7. I'll have to remember that for my first zero G jump . That is, if I ever get off student status (she says, watching the October winds kick up and up...)
  8. which is quite a flick...I found myself trying really hard not to scream "ARCH!!" at Sandra Bullock as she is tumbling through space after being knocked around by debris. And then I wondered....would body position make any difference with no atmosphere to work with?? Also...all space re-entry vehicles that have parachutes for landing assistance should have a user-reachable cutaway system from inside the capsule. Hello, spaceship makers?
  9. So I am almost to my A License...and it's snowing, with non-student-legal winds forecast for the weekend (I know weather can change...I'm doing my warm sunshine dance!). Weather and life may conspire to end my skydiving season... I have the final coach jumps, check dive, some parachute maintenance stuff and the exam between me and being a licensed skydiver. So I know the SIM lists the procedures for an A licensed skydiver to regain currency (do a jump w/USPA Instructor supervision if more than 10 weeks inactive, do a Cat D jump w/Instructor if more than 4 months)...but what about an almost finished student? If I end up unable to jump again until spring (way more than 30 days, at least...), will I need to start this whole thing over again? (Or at least sit through a FJC, then move on to whatever Cat jump my instructor thinks is right?) I'm really not a fan of the cold...but would love to know what I'm looking at for next spring if I'm unable to get this work done in the next few weeks.
  10. Having a real, personal reason to lose the weight is so important. I wanted to be able to climb to the Statue of Liberty's crown (over 350 steps, most in a teeeny spiral staircase) with my daughter. Got from 235 to 130 pounds. Have an amazing photo of the two of us at the Crown, with the harbor visible out the window, smiling like crazy. That was 5 years ago. I have worked to keep the weight off, and have ended up seeing a lot more options open for me at a healthy weight. One was my tandem skydive the end of June...which let me to AFF training and the pursuit of my license. I'm stuck with the end of season (and gallons of rain falling this weekend) it may be spring before I reach my goal...but this is something I never imagined I'd be doing. It won't be the easiest thing to do, getting that weight off. It took time to get it on, and it will take time to get it off...but keep your goal and your dream in's worth it.
  11. I sort of wish I'd had a little rest/think time...I did FJC most of a day on a Saturday (after getting up at the CRACK of dawn to get there in time and, let's face it, not having the most...complete and restful night's sleep the night before). Was manifested onto a load that afternoon, got up to altitude, then the instructors decided to bring me back down due to wind gusts. (I am very glad they didn't let me jump out into those high-end of legal winds.) I stayed fully suited up, and waited another hour or so to be sent up again (this time, winds were a go). I did not have the most elegant first jump ever. And I think a part of it was exhaustion -- long day, added to a long time fully outfitted and waiting, plus information overload. My instructors did a fantastic job with me that day, and in the jumps since. I still appreciate their decision to do a no go on the winds. I don't know if a night's sleep would have made for a better (or a more nervous) jump the next day...but it is interesting to consider.
  12. As a current student, I've been brought down in the plane due to winds gusting twice. The first time, they were still technically legal...but it was also my AFF First Jump, and the decision was made by my instructors to come back down and wait out the winds. Several jumps later, also a round-trip plane ride due to winds, and this past Sunday, it was iffy due to clouds -- the plane circled a while at about 9000 feet waiting for the cloud cover to push through (I doubt the tandems aboard had any idea that it usually isn't that long of a plane ride...). We were able to make that jump, but my coach (who is also the head AFFI) had warned me it might be yet another round trip. Since we students don't make that call, we don't lose the money...are just remanifested for later. I was having some serious conversations with myself on this cloudy ascent on whether I might make the choice myself to ride back down. Not sure then if I'd have been able to let my lift ticket and/or coaching fees ride...but also feel that I'm a bit too new at this to throw in extra variables...
  13. Today was a better day for jumping. Sun was shining, winds light and variable -- in other words, none of my excuses to myself could hold any water (and I'm unable to jump this weekend, as I have to go out of town). So I headed up to the DZ and got a couple jumps in. Cat H is still not my friend (just call me the perpetual student...). Got some small improvements in my tracking, and the beginning feel of a swoop. The head AFFI noticed my frustration, and suggested taking me on a no stress Cat G jump, really processing body position etc. Had a fine, stable exit, and got some work done in the sky today. Also improved my fall rate! Still not a thing of beauty (then again, this is the girl who flunked 7th grade gym...and not from lack of trying). Being able to slow it down was very helpful...and, although I didn't make tons of progress on my freefall skills acquisition today, I did get to remember the feeling that draws me back there again and again, to keep trying. I just have to remember this is not a race. Instead, I can concentrate on what it feels like when I go "down the hill" stable, on learning how to fly my body (with an occasional case of "your OTHER left!") and the joy I find every time under canopy. The coaches are encouraging, promising me that one day it will just click. I am waiting for that day! In the meantime, may they keep their patience as saints.
  14. We were told at my school that the radio was simply for backup, but not to rely on it AT ALL. (In fact, radio was not mentioned in the FJC classroom session at all, but my instructors explained its use and limitations to me as they strapped it on me.) I did enjoy hearing my instructor's voice (the times it worked), but have been fine continuing on without it after the first few jumps. My instructors took the radio away pretty quickly.