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  1. I think that posting information like this is a great idea; however, I have to agree with Napaguy on many of the points. I know that it is hard for students to afford the training we would all like them to have, but to encourage them to do solos I don't think is the correct approach. I think we should encourage them to do as many coach jumps as possible because it really does make a difference in how quickly they learn. It may be more costly in the short term, but in the long term you get much more from it. I know a lot of coaches (myself included) who would be more than happy to cover my own slot if the student wanted to go up and work on something. People did that for me, and so I am passing on the favor and hopefully they will do the same. Another point is the more the student learns before he/she gets his/her license, the better the skydiver they will be and they will have the capability to jump with other people and be invited back more frequently. If the student can't afford or find "free" coaches, then I agree, they should do a fun solo jump, but follow that up with a couple coach jumps (preferably on the same day with the same coach) and get some feedback. Then they could go do a couple solo jumps and work on what they just learned, then go back and do a couple coach jumps etc. The best of luck to all students!
  2. There was a little bit of both. With 10 people (one load with two tandems) in the porter, you really get to know each other.
  3. First off, what's with the Richard Simmons!! :) Secondly, off course I got permission. I jumped at FSC - Bruchsal this weekend, and it was great! The people were very friendly, and the countryside was very nice. Watch out for the sheep though! :)
  4. That is too sad. I will let you know how it goes - I will hopefully be going this weekend if the weather permits.
  5. First to comment on the original question of this thread which I believed has been answered, but I will reinforce it. The first time I was in the tunnel to do belly flying, I had ~ 100 jumps. I was very unstable in the beginning, and it was very difficult and sometimes frustrating to realize how much you do move around. I know have ~7-8 hours of tunnel time, and I have realized that it just takes time and some good coaches. I know it costs a bit more, but you will definitely see an improvement in your skydiving skills. On the second portion of this thread: All of my time has been in Skyventure tunnels. I would say I have about an hour in Arizona, an hour or two in Perris, and the rest in Orlando. Typically I get about 20-30 minutes of flying in an hour, and I have without a doubt noticed a difference in the air at each place. I would say that it seems much more difficult to move in the Orlando tunnel. Flying in the mantis position, my arms get tired much more quickly in Orlando, and it seems that it takes more effort. I found that flying in the Perris tunnel and at Arizona felt much more like it does in freefall - much more effortless.
  6. I am in Heidelberg already. I will be here until ~ May 23.
  7. Thanks for the info and the checklist! I would never have thought to bring my insurance card!
  8. I am visiting Heidelberg, Germany for one month from the U.S, and I am looking for a dropzone to jump at - one that is easily accessible for someone without a vehicle. It looks like there is a place in Bruchsal. Any regular jumpers in heidelberg drive up there that I could hitch a ride from or what is the best way to get there? I have 500 jumps and mostly do RW (was on a four way team last year), so I am also looking for some folks to jump with. Please respond to this or send me an email at [email protected] Cheers, Jen
  9. I wear ear plugs in the plane, but I never thought to leave them in for freefall to hear my audible better - I'll have to try that. As far as not having time to put them in before you get on the plane, as someone mentioned, I always keep a pair in the pocket of my jumpsuit - that way they're always with me! Also, I don't tend to have too many problems hearing other people in the plane (sometimes it kind of helps - I gues like blocking the wind in freefall to better hear your altimeter), but I talk a LOT louder which is funny (or annoying) to everyone around me. Quote
  10. I rarely get a packer, but recently, I have been doing so if our 4 way team is on a tight scheudule. I just found out that packers would like you to stow your brakes, unstow the slider and cock the pilot chute. It's not written down anywhere, and I never would have known unless that packer told me to do so. Now that I know what is expected, I will do it - Not a big deal, just didn't know. Cheers, Jen
  11. 1) because the weather in Ohio SUCKS!!!! 2) because it's an excuse to go to Florida and get out of school 3) because watching the video is a very useful procrastination tool (like I need more help) 4) because it helps make me a better skydiver 5) because we get a cheaper hotel rate at the Red Horse Inn Paige, our 4 way team is coming down tomorrow (friday may 13) night. We have tunnel time friday and saturday and will be in Deland on Sunday. You plan to be around? Gimme a call. Cheers, Jen
  12. I definitely agree that the renewed adrenaline rush comes with new skydiving adventures. The best thing for me was focusing on one thing and getting really good at it. There are so many things to try in skydiving I feel like I don't have the time. I have dabbled in birdman, CRW, and freeflying, but my current passion is 4 way. I remember when I had less than 100 jumps, I was really getting frustrated with jumping - I sucked (not saying that I'm great now, but I do okay). I contemplated quitting because I just couldn't get it. The thing that helped me out a lot was the wind tunnel. Being able to see improvement in a short amount of time was what helped me to pull through, figure things out and get my adrenaline rush back.
  13. Daphne, Where do you jump at? I might know some people in the area to refer you to. Cheers, Jen
  14. Chad, At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I would say to start hanging out at the DZ, learn to pack, make some money, and learn all you can. I still learn a few new things everytime I go to the DZ. As for the parents thing, I called my mom AFTER I made my first tandem. When I started skydiving (a few months after my tandem because of money issues), she was very nervous, and I had to call her after every day that I jumped (I was away at college). Slowly, she warmed up to the idea, but it still made her very nervous. Then last summer, I got her a tandem for her birthday. She got to hang out at the DZ, experience the skydiving atmosphere as well as experience her first jump. Since then she has been much more understanding and now knows why I am addicted. :) I know most parents won't do that, so I consider myself lucky, but having them go to the DZ is a good way to see what it is all about. As for the windtunnel, I have done a total of 60 minutes on a couple of occasions. I have seen kids in there as young as around 5, so that is not a problem. Yes, it is very expensive, but every minute you spend in there is like a skydive (you also don't have to worry about exiting or pulling your parachute). Some experience in the tunnel could get you through student progression a little faster, but only in the sense that hopefully you wouldn't have to repeat levels. Good luck in your endevours!
  15. Well, I have done a number of stupid things, but the one I remember most is forgetting to buckle the straps of my protec helmet before exiting the plane. Luckily the exit went great because the other people on the skydive held onto me while I was trying to fasten the buckle. Trying to buckle your helmet in free fall with gloves on in 37 degree (ground temp) weather just doesn't work. By breakoff, I still didn't get it, so I tracked away holding onto the buckle with my left hand and trying to correct for the turn, pulled, and then buckled it under canopy. Well, I have never forgotten to buckle my helmet again, but I have a new Z1 open faced helmet that apparently wasn't snapped all the way and when I deployed about 2 weeks ago it flew off. Protrack and all. No one was in my area, so I watched it as it landed in a farmer's field. I then flew down and landed with it. Recovered everything with only a few scratches. Lesson: I ALWAYS pull on the strap now to make sure it is secure!