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Everything posted by neilmck

  1. Jumped the sunset load on a Saturday night, after landing when straight to the bar leaving my parachute unpacked. Returned from the bar after 12 hours drinking at 8:00am the next morning, packed my chute in a rush and jumped the first load on the Sunday morning. That was 30 years ago, I wouldn't last 12 hours in bar now. ;-)
  2. Obviously the crowd understood what he was saying and his German was correct. However it is amusing to consider that it could be taken to be like going to Hamburg and claiming to be a Hamburger.
  3. I'm more of a drink it straight from the bottle person.
  4. I came back from a 25-year break. The moment I first jumped from the aeroplane my freefall skills were back, like riding a bike. However I was like a beginner when landing the canopy. It has taken me a long time to sort out the landings. Eventually discovered it was because I had spent the last 30 years sitting behind a desk. Sorted it by going running regularly with sprints and then practising jumping off a 2 to 3 foot wall and land running.
  5. This is one of the reasons I get annoyed by people who keep claiming that parachuting is perfectly safe and even safer than driving a car. You then get people who in order to have the courage to jump convince themselves that nothing bad can happen to them. It is only when things go wrong in the sky that they have to suddenly confront their fears (and potentially panicking) instead of having done that when they were on the ground.
  6. I get your point about the importance of controlling your fear when someone else is driving. At first I used to freak out when my children started to learn to drive, which is the worst thing you can do. Now I just close my eyes when they are parking.
  7. I've even been known to swear :)
  8. I find fear to be a useful emotion, it is there to protect by making you avoid dangerous situations. However when it is too late and you are in danger and you can do something to save yourself it gets out of the way and let's you concentrate on what you need to do. Hence, big problem in the plane, no problem outside the plane. This explains why the passenger is always more frightened than the driver of a car.
  9. I am very sorry to hear of the death of your mother. Only this afternoon I found my daughter in tears, she had just discovered that her best friend's grandmother had died of Covid this morning. She and her friends got together to help comfort their friend. As you say brighter days are to come and I hope your grandson will be able to help you discover them.
  10. Here in France, it is "Midsummer Murders" that is very popular. It is a mix of down-to-earth human characters, beautiful Kent countryside and total lack of technology or everything being solved by DNA testing, that makes it so popular.
  11. Hitting 50 years old was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. Now I truly don't give a damn and I don't worry about the negative stuff anymore. 20 years ago I had an older colleague who, every time I screwed up, would tell me not to worry as no one will care in 20 years time. Well it took me 20 years to discover he was right. So enjoy yourself and worry about in 20 years time.
  12. I keep it as my Saturday Secret. After working and having lunch for 5 years with the same people I recently mentioned it to them when they asked about my week's holiday. Had a fun discussion about it, but I have never mentioned it since. The problem is, after answering the obvious questions the conversation inevitably becomes one sided and potentially boring to them. So sure, mention it to your good friends once and have a great joke about it but leave it that, if they are interested they will bring the subject up again.
  13. I learnt on rounds so a PLF is natural for me. If I'm coming in fast I will just continue the roll as much as is needed. I have never hurt myself on landing. My concern with students today is will they ever get enough practise to do it instinctively. The idea of sliding-in a landing that you know is going to go bad, seems absolutely crazy to me. If it is going wrong just do a PLF and protect yourself in both the vertical and horizontal axis.
  14. Coming back to skydiving after a 25-year break I noticed two big differences to when I jumped in my 20's. Loss of upper body strength and ability to run. I found the freefall was fine, just the undercarriage wasn't what it once was. If you have spent the last 30 years sitting behind a desk then you might want to take up jogging with regular sprints. You just need to do it until you can jump off a 2.5 foot high wall and land running. The upper body strength comes in handy when things go wrong. Sorting out twists and stuff. I was surprised how quickly my arms got tired when I was working with my risers above my head. Best motivation I have ever had to go to the gym regularly.
  15. Quand on veut, on peut. When one wants, one can. Most people think they would want to go skydiving but if they really wanted to do it, they would already be doing it.
  16. I think the most important thing is to always be consistant within each domain. The system that you learn at school is only important for short distances. Everyone can appreciate 3m or 10 feet, but most people cannot really appreciate what is 300m or 1000 feet. For beginners the distances that we use in parachuting are just numbers so as long as you always use the same units when parachuting it is okay regardless of what you learnt at school. In the UK they have been teaching in meters for 50 years but still jump in feet. So in France you jump at the number 4000, break off and track at the number 1500, stop tracking at about 1200 to 1100 and pull at 1000, if nothing has happened by 600 - panic. The problem only occurs if like me you go and mix the two within the domain of parachuting.
  17. Finally got to speak with the 81 year old parachutist at the DZ. She explained to me that when she started they didn't use altimeters, just their eyes. Then they started using aircraft altimeters that where huge and kept flapping around when in freefall. The aircraft altimeters in France were in meters at the time. It was at a later date that there was an international agreement for pilots to standardise on feet, the parachutists continued to use meters.
  18. Doing PLFs make me feel young again :) I was also lucky to start on rounds, now whenever a landing looks dodgy I can instantly do a PLF at the last second. So far I have been lucky and never been hurt, nothing worse than bruises.
  19. The reserve is a 40-year old round and the container is a Talon Classic that cannot be modified for an AAD so none of this is allowed to be jumped in France, however it did work last time I jumped it. :) The years roll by faster than you think. The DZO gave me the details of a museum in Strasbourg who would be interested by it, just I can't admit I'm old enough to be donating my stuff to museums.
  20. I did the same, kept my chute for the day I would go back skydiving. Finally did give into the bug, 25 years later. Funnily enough the DZO won't let me jump my old kit though, even if it did work last time I jumped it.
  21. Yep that's the one. I've been looking for that on and off for a long time Thanks!
  22. Being scared is normal, everytime I'm in the aeroplane I decide that I'll make this jump my last, when I land I'll pack-up my stuff and go home. Then when I'm in the air it all changes. As Ghost says whatever you decide, you have already done some amazing stuff, more than most people ever dream of.
  23. Most jobs get boring after doing exactly the same thing for X years. I'm not a TI but I wouldn't recommend doing it just because you enjoy skydiving. Falling down the same tube day-in-day out must be pretty dull. However if you enjoy people and giving them one hell of a mind blowing experience then things are different...
  24. Has anyone got a link to the old Sony advert of the guy skydiving in his armchair?