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  1. OK- skydiver of 20 years here. Long before I started jumping, I used to go to the old Flyaway in Pigeon Forge. Then, when I first became an actual skydiver, I went back to Flyaway (my only option at the time) and was amazed that I could actually fly under control (as I'm sure was the case with many of us). So, over the years, I would go to Flyaway and the attitude of the instructors was always "So you're a skydiver- what can we help you work on?" and that seemed to make total sense to me. So, being that I live in Cincinnati, I don't have any of the modern ifly style tunnels nearby. I've been itching to get inside one and see the difference that I keep hearing about. A couple of weeks ago, we took a trip to Orlando and of course, the tunnel was a major must-do on my list. So... I get there, go through the obligatory class (same as Flyaway always required if it had been a certain amount of time since your last flight) and when I mention I'm a skydiver, I'm abruptly told that there is NO WAY I am allowed to try to sitfly! Again, I've been jumping for 20 years and I have the jump numbers to back that up, and the vast majority of my jumps have been freefly. Could I not have demonstrated that I know what I'm doing with a low-speed sitfly, and then gone from there? The instructor made it clear that I had to complete the entire hierarchy of skills before I'd be allowed to attempt a sitfly. This is vastly different from how Flyaway worked (and still does). At Flyaway, of course, the wind speed isn't sufficient to actually sitfly (they do more of a "chair" position) but no issues if you want to try. Also, Flyaway involves more actual falling when you slip away from the airstream, and most injuries I've seen are when that happens- not an issue at ifly. So, I understand "safety first", but what is the problem with allowing me to at least demonstrate that I can sitfly? On my way out of ifly I spoke with an instructor and told him of my dissatisfaction with having to spend my entire flight demonstating belly flight and other skills, and he asked how I learned to sitfly. When I told him I learned in the sky by being dragged out of a plane, he told me that I learned the wrong way! WHAT? This seems like a big money making racket to me. Back when Flyaway was your only option, it was all about fun. Now there's the whole bodyflight ranking blah blah blah and it seems like it's become largely political. Am I missing something?
  2. I spoke with Jerry for a while at the WFFC the day before he died. I showed him a homemade skyboard- he gave me some great advice. I got home from the WFFC and told some friends how nice Jerry was, and they told me the news. I hadn't heard and could not believe it. It seemed so weird that someone so friendly could be gone just that quickly.