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  1. Thank you all again for your fantastic and highly detailed assistance! I have finished the rough of the segment, and will be doing ongoing revisions; but for now I think it's a pretty good start. I ended up leaving a few details ambiguous and mainly following the protagonist. I think I've got all the details down pretty well, but I wouldn't mind if one or two of you could volunteer to read through the scene and give me some feedback. Its 8 pages, about 3700 words, and I could use some ideas on drawing out the actual jump experiences and making them sound more terrifying and dramatic. If anyone is interested, please message me and we can discuss. As a side note, I had heard the story of Lt. William Rankin, one of those awesome tails of survival I so dearly love. The fact that its true just makes it even better! I always enjoy my brief flirtations with communities like this; makes me wonder why more writers don't do what I do. No matter what you're writing, there's a community of enthusiasts out there who are experts on the subject and would love to help you bring some accuracy and realism to your project. Even if it involves dragons.
  2. ^ This is exactly why I come on forums for advice like this. I may be writing a ridiculous sci-fi/fantasy high adventure novel, but if I'm portraying something real like skydiving, I think its a lot more fun for the reader if I portray it accurately. Plus, on the off chance an actual skydiver reads it, I'd like to make them smile. When I outlined this scene originally the plan was for good weather and the jump to go off without a hitch... but where's the fun in that? To help understand the mood without going into the massive backstory of what is already a 130,000 word novel, I'll tell you that a big part of this scene is demonstrating how the protagonist nearly gets all her friends killed with her stupid decision. I am trying to set the stage for a jump that is risky, but not just suicide. Working on advice in this thread, the carrier is several miles out to sea. The weather is still ok for launching helicopters and fighters, the transport plane is bigger and needs better conditioners(fun fact: landing an airplane on an aircraft carrier at night is the hardest thing humans do on a regular basis. That's not relevant, I just think it's cool) Adding to the time constraint, the airplane needs to turn around very soon in order to have enough fuel to make it to a landing strip(they are very far off the beaten path), so when they make the decision to jump there's not a lot of time to stop and argue about it. The jump itself will be done with round rigs(makes more sense after some of the advice I've got here) from about 4,000ft(4300, in case anyone cares). They discuss trying to rig a static line but again there are time constraints(and poor decision-making) at play. The storm front is fast approaching and the pilots are ansty(the airplane actually ends up crashing, but that's not until after our protagonists are on the ground). So far my plan is: *Soldier - ends up landing in the ocean and nearly drowns(and nearly dies of hypothermia, bad day) *main protagonist(who's terrible idea this was) ends up getting her shoulder dislocated and beaten up pretty badly when she's dragged on landing Our "first timers" almost end up staying on the airplane, but one of them looses his balance and knocks himself and the other out the door. *one of the never before skydived people "locks up" and ends up being "saved" by the AAD("Saved" is in quotes because he still ends up in a thicket of trees. He's not badly injured for plot-related reasons(superhuman strength and toughness) but is badly traumatized by the experience). *the last character by some ridiculous stroke of luck lands totally safely. My idea was that some sort of freak confluence of winds converge to make her landing quite comfortable. This might be stretching the bonds of realism some but in context it will be funny(the entire rest of her character arc for this half of the book is a traveling shit-show, so this is the ONE thing that goes right) So, let me ask two things: 1. What is the highest reasonable air speed all of this could happen in? High enough to make one of you say "Oh shit!" but not "This is stupid, the writer is an idiot". 2. If you needed to give someone who'd never seen a parachute before a 30-second crash course in skydiving, what would you tell them? Thank you all again for your wonderful input! I may be back in a couple of days soliciting volunteers to read over what I come up with.
  3. Awesome, thank you! Some good stuff for me to chew on. Going back over my notes it appears they actually are using square rigs. Went back and checked a scene earlier... might have some other questions on that, too. You mentioned earlier 25mph being the maximum(i assume SAFE) wind speed. What's the maximum wind speed at which it goes from "unsafe" to "suicidal" for a square rig?
  4. Thank you for the response! I am seeing just how much I DON'T know about skydiving! (which is why I do research like this, lol). In this case I am thinking round parachutes as they are bail-out chutes for the plane(jumping was never "Plan A" for this mission). Thank you for the note on the ice, that will be good! Definitely going to be a "hop and pop" - that was already the plan, but thank you for the terminology! Altitude - yeah, I had NO clue about that. I'd like to drop them fairly low but there needs to be enough time for things to go badly during the fall. Plus they'd want enough time to use a reserve-chute for safety margin. I am thinking around 1500, but don't know much. And yes, already planning to have the 2 novices get pushed out, figured that was a must.
  5. Hi folks, I am doing some research for a novel and am looking for assistance crafting a skydiving scene. The set up for it is that the characters are on a military transport plane heading for a remote expedition. This takes place in a constructed world, so no need for details on specific aircraft models/designations/etc. The original plan had been for the airplane to land on a waiting aircraft carrier, but upon arrival the weather is too bad for a landing. The only choice is to parachute onto a nearby landmass. Of the characters, one is an experienced paratrooper, one has spent a few afternoons at a military jump school and done a single training jump tethered to an instructor. The other two have never jumped at all(one of them doesn’t even know what a parachute is). Obviously a jump under such circumstances is a terrible idea and obscenely dangerous, and no sane skydiver would consider it, but it’s kind of necessary for the plot for various reasons I won’t get into. The novel is a fantasy/sci-fi type world, but I like to stay grounded in physics. Aside from the “the characters are idiots for trying this” aspect, I’d like to make the scene realistic. Details I am looking for: *A good altitude for making a jump like this *Some guidance in crafting a good scene, including a description of what its like to jump in bad weather *A little information on gear(at the very least, fact-checking what I have) Then the main challenge: something needs to go wrong during the jump, but not fatally so. I’d really like some ideas for what can go wrong but still be recovered from. Minor injuries are fine. Since they are jumping from a military plane with paratrooper rigs, someone with experience in that area would be helpful, but really just any basic suggestions would be great!
  6. Hi folks, I am looking for some advice on a scene for a novel, will be posting more detail in the general section. Thanks!