PixieUK

Members
  • Content

    257
  • Joined

  • Last visited

    Never
  • Feedback

    0%

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

Gear

  • Main Canopy Size
    150
  • Reserve Canopy Size
    160
  • AAD
    Vigil 2 Control Unit

Jump Profile

  • Home DZ
    LPS, Netheravon
  • License
    C
  • Licensing Organization
    BPA
  • Number of Jumps
    425
  • Tunnel Hours
    30
  • Years in Sport
    5
  • First Choice Discipline
    Formation Skydiving
  • First Choice Discipline Jump Total
    350
  • Second Choice Discipline
    Tunnel Flying
  1. PixieUK

    How did everyone get into skydiving?

    I guess you'd be surprised just how many thousands of people only ever do one tandem, tick it off their bucket list and never come back, lol. I got into it kind of by accident. I never had any interest in jumping, it was never on my bucket list to do a tandem, my motto was basically "if the pilot is landing in the plane, I don't see any good reason why I shouldn't either". My boyfriend at the time (now-ex) had been a skydiver for several years but had given it up a long time before he met me. We had talked about him getting back into it and me possibly giving it a go, I'd even gone so far as to get a medical but then just shoved it in a drawer for a couple of years. Long story but we both did a tandem for my birthday (ironically, his first tandem, he had over 700 jumps logged at that point) and I was a bit, meh, take it or leave it, lol. I liked some bits, didn't like others, my right ear was incredibly painful on the way down, we had a hard opening and a hard landing and I really couldn't see the attraction. After talking it over with a couple of people, they eventually persuaded me that I had to try doing it by myself to really judge whether I liked it or not. So two weeks later I was back at the dz on my ground school. It was a real battle to get through AFF, the winds were frequently too high and even with rocking up every Friday night, staying all weekend and taking a week off work to try for mid-week jumping, it still took me over 6 weeks from ground school to getting my 18th jump and my (BPA) A licence. I was pretty disheartened by the whole process and it took me another 6 weeks before I came back to the dz. My first qualified jump ended up being a reserve ride because someone had packed a mal (locked brake toggle, I didn't even get to pull it out of the keeper) though I still managed to get back to the landing area. I went on to do 6 more jumps that weekend and just made it a whole series of firsts. Since I'd already had a cutaway, I didn't have any real nerves of jumping my first pack job (my instructor was also jumping one of my pack jobs on the same jump so he obviously had confidence in me, lol). I have never been really obsessed with jumping and even now, I can take it or leave it. If someone told me that I had to give up jumping for medical reasons for example, I would head off to another type of activity without really looking back. I have done a lot in 3 years of jumping, including competing in 4-way and Speed 8, big way, multi-plane big way, lots of tunnel time, helping to coach newbies and so on. There is still a huge amount to learn and lots more I could try, but if none of them materialise, I could walk away happy with what I've already achieved
  2. I did a tandem and when I got down, I confused everyone by being a bit "Meh!" about the experience I liked some bits, didn't like others. I wasn't terrified and kissing the ground grateful to still be alive but I wasn't euphoric and desperate to do it again either. So my instructor and my then boyfriend told me I needed to do it by myself to really be able to decide. So I signed up for AFF level 1 (was able to pay for each level as I did it) and a few weeks later, I finally understood what all the fuss was about AFF was a very emotional journey for me and when I got my A licence, I wasn't at all sure I would continue. I've persevered after considering quitting several times but I know I will never be an obsessive skydiver. It is an amazing thing to be able to fly though
  3. PixieUK

    Oil Price - Jump Prices

    You haven't filled out any of your profile so I have no idea where you jump, but in the UK, many of the DZ's are "tandem factories" for a very good reason - fun jumpers don't make the DZ any money, in fact they usually cost the DZ money! One of the small DZs where I jump doesn't own a plane, they rent one and it costs around £600 per hour to fly it. That's without the pilot's fees, putting fuel in every 3rd lift, paying the ground crew etc. Since the max number of fun jumpers the plane will hold is 13, at £20 per jump ticket, a full load of fun jumpers doesn't even cover half of the cost of the plane, let alone the extras required to keep it running. And that's without even considering manifest, instructors, rigs for hire, insurance....... So fuel costs are nowhere near the biggest expense. For DZs that own their planes, there are hideously expensive maintenance costs including regular servicing after x number of flying hours, insurance, replacement of worn / broken parts etc etc. So again, fuel is probably a fairly minor consideration in the overall cost of running a DZ. And any time the weather prevents jumping, those planes are not providing any income at all but are still costing money, regardless of whether they are owned or rented and irrespective of needing to put any more fuel into them. A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr
  4. Got engaged 4 months after 1st date,, married on 2 year anniversary of 1st date, divorced after 10 years as we grew apart. A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr
  5. PixieUK

    What did you learn this year?

    I learned - that even if someone says they love you and believes that they are your friend, their definition and yours may vary so much that they may as well hate you, the end result is the same. Cutting toxic people out of my life has left me so much happier
  6. I would say wait and buy whatever you can comfortably jump now. To give you a little perspective, I am considerably lighter than you and have just downsized to a 170 from a 190 at 200+ jumps. My CI was happy for me to downsize at 100 jumps but I was getting into big way at that point, and having a low wingloading was allowing me to get back from deep spots (when I had to track away from the landing area) and was giving me plenty of time to descend without getting in the way of more experienced jumpers in the same group who wanted to land quickly. If I can throw a Silhouette 190 around weighing around 145lbs, you should have no problem at all in exploring the performance envelope of a 190 and will probably have more success than I did at front riser turns (even with dive loops, my front riser stuff was more like pull-ups than getting the corner of the canopy to come down ). Do a search on downsizing on these forums - it might help you to understand why many very experienced jumpers state that a 170 canopy is a high performance canopy, regardless of wing-loading, and it is another one of the reasons I was in no rush to go smaller. A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr
  7. Actually an hour is costing me £350 including coaching so not even vaguely comparable to a holiday in Spain (where the weather is also pretty rubbish at the moment) and wouldn't even get me flights to Florida, never mind accommodation and jumping, lol. I recently had a bad car accident and am not able to jump just yet otherwise I would be in the air, giving it a go. A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr
  8. I'm assuming wearing a rig makes a difference as it will catch some air in sit-fly. Is it easier in the sky? I have a great tunnel coach and he assures me I'm making good progress but after an hour of tunnel time, I'm barely controlling my back fly and he still hasn't let go of me in sit fly. We are working at 75-80% tunnel power as the idea is to get me used to head down wind speeds very early on. I made the mistake of defaulting to belly flying when one back fly move went very wrong (remember that "hard arch" from AFF, lol) and quickly discovered why that's a very bad idea in a tunnel that's wound up to freefly head-down speeds when I would normally be wearing lead at 50% power I have another hour booked over the next couple of weeks but it seems incredibly slow progress compared with belly-flying. I guess there are a lot more variables. I can't try anything out in the air just yet as the weather has been awful plus it's getting pretty cold and miserable here. But I'm hoping to be able to try some of this out before the end of the month (my rig is ff friendly). Also, is it normal to find back-fly harder than sit-fly? In my sit-fly, I can maintain my arms, upper body, back arch etc and am getting the feel of where my lower legs and feet need to be. In back-fly, it still seems pretty random which bit goes wrong and trying to figure it out and correct one thing seems to make something else go out of kilter. It's great fun and I can definitely see that I am progressing but it does feel much harder work than learning to belly-fly A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr
  9. PixieUK

    How old is your main canopy?

    Brand new and VERY crispy Was hooked up week before last but weather has been rubbish so haven't jumped it yet, hoping for Friday. Had a go at packing it and it wasn't as bad as I was expecting, but then I have been packing a 190 into the 170 D-bag for nearly a year, lol. A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr
  10. PixieUK

    The horrible thing about online dating...

    I find internet dating too contrived. I don't fit the 'normal' mould (I doubt most skydivers do, lol) and either the guys on there don't want me because I'm too adventurous and independent or I don't want them because they're too boring I did try several sites last year because I know several people who have met fairly good matches that way (and went to 2 weddings as a result!) and had some dates with potential, but they all turned out to have missed out something critical from their online profiles. Like a wife. And a drug habit. Or desperation (leading to one guy physically launching himself at me in a coffee shop whilst I was still holding a cup of tea!!). And why the hell do guys lie about their height???? I'm 5'8. If you tell me you're 5'11 and you're actually 5'6, did you really think I wouldn't notice??? And if you've lied about that, what else are you lying about that I haven't found out about yet? I'm not overly concerned with height, my last long-term ex was shorter than me but if you start off with a lie, there's not really any place to go..... I got fed up of being dumped by text, twice whilst sitting by my dad's hospital bedside (yeah, they knew!), and one ghosting My life is great, I'm happy being single, I'm not going to settle for a mediocre fit just to avoid being alone, so that basically reduces my pool of suitable partners to practically zero, rofl. If I happen to meet someone whilst skydiving, or at a party, or while climbing or at a festival, then great. If not, fine. So I deleted all my online profiles
  11. Glad you think the 150 is still ok for you
  12. Ok, I've read the first couple of pages of responses and since they're all basically the same (with varying amounts of rudeness, lol), does that qualify as "I wouldn´t downsize if everyone would tell me that it´s a stupid idea :)" yet I have a similar number of jumps to you (nearly 180), have been jumping 2 years, have done 2 canopy courses and I'm still jumping a 190. I've had it for over 100 jumps and no-one I know would object to me downsizing to a 170 but so far, I'm not really bothered. I like knowing that I will land safely regardless of the conditions and what might happen during my landing pattern. On a 170, I might just about get to a 1:1 wingloading (apart from those big way jumps where I have a ton of lead on where my wingloading is already over 1) so being light isn't an excuse for downsizing. I have watched a friend smack into the ground on a 'conservative' wingloading (much lower than yours) and break her femur. One of the tandem instructors at my dz is just about to come out of plaster after breaking his femur on a tandem jump. Another friend is in hospital and is likely to be there for some considerable time after a low turn. I have been cut up on final and had to make adjustments at the last minute (thanks to canopy courses, those were harness turns or quick stabs on rears to 'move over' a few feet). I've had to land downwind in light wind conditions due to a fixed landing pattern for safety reasons. Any time my landing doesn't go quite according to plan, I'm confident I can land my canopy safely without needing to worry about "taking it easy" or being at the outside limits of my skill set. If I had to cutaway or had an accident in freefall and my AAD fired, my reserve wing loading is also conservative (150) so I am less likely to be badly injured if I can't control my canopy due to being unconscious (I do a lot of FS and big way jumping) or due to an injury. What size will your reserve be if you get a 135 as your main? What will your wing loading be on that? This sport is dangerous. Complacency in this sport is likely to get you hurt, possibly very badly. The smaller the canopy, the less your margin for error. I don't have enough personal experience to say don't downsize, but I've seen enough people get hurt to know that reducing the size of my life-saving equipment is not a priority for me at my number of jumps. Good luck whatever you decide A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr
  13. PixieUK

    AAD fire in a descending aircraft

    Two student Cypresses fired on descent at one of my local DZ's a couple of weeks ago. No idea why the pilot decided to do his usual steep fast descent but the CI made him very aware of his error shortly after the landing The only time I have come down in the plane I was a recently qualified A licence but was hiring student kit and I told the pilot myself that it was a student AAD as there was no instructor in the plane. A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr
  14. Are you trying to do your turns too fast? You don't have to spin on the spot like a whirling dervish, a slow controlled turn will do :-) Also, try to keep as much eye contact with your instructor as possible so looking at them as you turn, then move your head round to look over the other shoulder as you keep the turn going past 180 degrees to finish back facing them. The slower you do your turn, the more control you have and the less opposing input you will need to stop the turn. If you whizz round like a spinning top, you will need to slam on some opposite turn to put the brakes on and stop the rotation. Much easier to take your time at this stage whilst you are still learning
  15. Actually, it's probably more about self-preservation and the subconscious than about creating 'extinction over time'. I do a lot of indoor climbing and fall practice is a frequent part of the training that I and my climbing buddy do, along with most of the climbers we know. There is no logic to the fear of falling, instinct will have any of us gripping onto the holds by our fingernails rather than just let go and trust the rope and our belay buddy, and we actively have to train to overcome that fear. And if we don't train for it for a while, and don't fall, then we have to start back at the beginning, because the subconscious is so strong, the fear will be just as bad as the first time we ever tried fall practice. And I suspect in skydiving, if it's around the 6th jump, it's probably a new stage of training. For me, jump 6 was my first exit without an instructor holding onto me (solo dive exit, go unstable and recover, with turns at the end). I'm guessing it would apply differently to static line students, maybe their first non-dummy pull or longer delay before throwing the pilot chute. And maybe performance anxiety plays a part which isn't a fear of jumping but of being watched and tested. A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr