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About ghost47


  • Main Canopy Size
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    Cypres 2

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    Skydive Elsinore
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  1. Thank you for sharing. I was wondering: 1. What were you and the coach doing from 12,500 to 3,300? Did he know you were having right-arm issues? What was your plan (i.e., did you intentionally wait to get to a lower altitude to pull the reserve, were you panicking, did it take you a while to figure out what to do, etc.)? 2. If the coach was going to pull your main, did he say why he waited until 3,300 to do it? Good luck in your recovery!
  2. I am. No one in my family is immunocompromised, but people I see at the grocery store may be. And my elderly mother comes over to visit my toddler once a week. I haven't jumped in over seven months and miss it a lot, but right now it just doesn't seem to be worth the risk. (And if anyone wonders why I go the grocery store then, the answer is I need food. I don't need to skydive. I want to skydive.)
  3. Riggerrob: While I'm sure Taiwan would love a U.S. military presence there, there are no U.S. military bases in Taiwan (at least none that are public knowledge -- China would have a fit). OP: just out of curiosity, are there DZs in Taiwan? A quick google search turns up only paragliding places. If no one has any leads, and there are DZs, maybe you could contact one of them (or even the paragliding places) and see if they have any recommendations. Most people living in Taiwan (at least that I've met) can speak some English or, if you have some native friends, maybe one of them can help you with the initial contact. Good luck!
  4. Well, obviously I don't know you or your DZ or your AFF-Is, and this is the Internet, but I'd be very surprised if you didn't have the knowledge to save your own life on a skydive. I don't think your instructors would have let you out of the plane for AFF-1 if you didn't have the knowledge. My AFF-1 was over a decade ago, but I'm sure they went over how to pull, and the different possible malfunctions, and what to do for each. I think what you lack is not the knowledge, but the confidence that you'll employ that knowledge correctly in the limited time you'll have. And, the thing is, you'll never know if you don't try, and if you do try and you're wrong, there are potentially fatal consequences (hopefully your AAD would fire your reserve, but that's obviously not something to be counted on). That shouldn't be sugar-coated. But really, the only way to gain that confidence is to do it. Again and again. So, if that's something that you want to do, then I'd just suggest you do everything possible to make sure that when the time comes, you know what to do. And, for me, that involves visualizing and practicing and visualizing and practicing and visualizing and practicing until you're just reacting. 5,500 feet (or 1,500 meters or whatever you guys pull at), wave off, reach for the hackey and pull and throw. Get to the point where there's no thought involved. Then do it. Or not. Many people live very full and significant lives without skydiving.
  5. I'm wondering if it's the lack of "safety nets" (for lack of a better term) that's currently freaking you out. Before, you knew that if you froze, or something went wrong, there was at least one instructor who would try to help. Now, there's just you. If that resonates with you, then I think you have multiple avenues. One is simply to stop. You've done what 99% of humans have never done: jumped out of an airplane at least 8 times and survived. You have nothing you need to prove to anyone if you don't want to continue, and if you enjoy flying, there's always the tunnel. Another is simply to commit. I don't care what I'm feeling, I don't care if I'm shitting my pants, as long as I am conscious, I am going out that door. And then do everything in your power to prepare yourself for saving your own life thereafter. Visualize how the dive will go, what you will do if you tumble, what moves you're going to try if any, when you're going to check your altimeter, how you're going to pull, what to do if you have a hard pull, what to do if you have a malfunction. Everything. Over and over, until it's automatic. Whenever doubts creep in, put them aside, and refocus on the diveflow, and visualizing how it's going to go. And then do it. A third is simply to wait. The sky is not going anywhere. If you wait too long, you'll need to repeat some (or all) AFF levels if you decide to return, but that's not the end of the world. But your choices are not binary -- jump now or stop forever. Maybe in three months you'll be missing the feeling. Or maybe you'll decide you're happier not skydiving. Good luck!
  6. First, you should see a doctor. Especially at your level, you don't want to be at 1,000 feet (300 meters) when you find out you can longer use your left hand to fly and flare your parachute. All of us (including me) may have anecdotes and some experiences, but no one can diagnose you over the Internet. About ten years ago, I was doing ten-way and had a bit of a collision with someone on exit. It was later theorized that I sustained a brachial plexus injury to the C8-T1 nerves during that collision. The dive went fine but, when I went to flare my canopy on final, my right arm suddenly had no strength, and I ended up having a hard landing because I was unable to finish my flare. I had about 300 jumps at the time and sustained no more than bruises. But I was still able to flare about halfway, so it could have been worse. But really, see a doctor before you jump. Having the use of your arms is very important.
  7. I think most people would agree that, if you set aside the issue of traffic, pulling at 4500 is safer than pulling at 3500, and pulling at 3500 is safer than pulling at 2500. And I also think that no skydiver should regularly be forced to pull lower than (s)he is comfortable. But, if you skydive, there's a chance you'll have to get out lower than you're comfortable with -- say, because there's an aircraft emergency. So getting out now at 3500, which is lower than your current pull altitude, will give you a taste of that, and let you figure out how to deal with that feeling, and still get stable and pull. As an aside, most jumpers I know pull between 3000 and 3500. After you get your A-license, assuming you intend to jump with other people, you will likely slowly begin to lower your pull altitude to around 4000 and then 3500.
  8. About ten years ago, I had a very hard opening on a Sabre2 190, and compressed T8. Best guess at the time was that my packer didn't stow the slider properly (the 190 was a "full" fit for my rig, and the packer was somewhat new). I also got a brace, and monthly checkups, complete with x-rays. After about six months, the doctor said that I looked stable. I asked several times whether I could return to jumping, and he refused to say yes (I think for liability reasons). But he discharged me, and I re-learned how to pack, and then went back to jumping. But I now jump a canopy with dacron lines, and no one packs for me anymore, even when I was team training and on a 20-minute call after I landed. A hard opening can do so much damage because we're going from 120 mph to 14 mph in less than a second. Think about how much acceleration is needed for that to happen, and how much force that puts on your body (I may have some of the words here wrong, I haven't taken a physics class for over 30 years). Is it common? I would say it's not UNcommon to have a hard opening. But having a hard opening to the point of compressing a vertebra I don't think is as common. But it can happen (you and I are living proof) and it's just another one of the risks we need to factor in against our love of flying.
  9. I don't think this has to be a binary thing: shut up or don't shut up. I think, instead, you can just qualify your responses. Someone asking a gear question you think you might know the answer to, but aren't sure? "I've only jumped twice in the past six years, and haven't worked on gear since _____. But, from my experience, you might want to think about ________." Then whoever is asking (and reading the thread) can get the benefit of your knowledge, while at the same time take into account that your knowledge might not be the most current. At the same time, you've made clear the potential limitations of your advice and have couched your opinion as a suggestion rather than an absolute dictate, so you need not worry that you're misleading some young jumper. Besides, on this site, if you give advice that is even slightly wrong, I'm sure someone will be along to correct you shortly
  10. Just out of curiosity, any reason you can't rent a 210 and try it out before buying?
  11. I assume you know about power tools?
  12. As pointed out above, billvon has a nice checklist, but to me, the question I ask is: you're flying to altitude and suddenly the pilot declares an emergency and orders everyone out. Now you have to land in a parking lot (or maybe a small backyard), and there are no indicators about how the wind is blowing. Are you happy with the size of your canopy and your ability to land without any major injury? If so, then okay. If not, maybe think about getting something bigger. In other words, think about what size you want your canopy to be when things are going to shit, not when landing on grass, into the wind.
  13. Perhaps I am misunderstanding the story, but where was the double malfunction?
  14. People with a death wish skydive without a parachute. People with a life wish use a parachute.
  15. Purely as to this part, it sounds like there was just one slot left on the plane, so they were seeing if they could fill it with a fun jumper. But they couldn't put you on the plane, because you essentially need two slots (you and an instructor). So that part doesn't seem wrong to me. But having you sit around for four hours, and being consistently told "next load" only to have that not be true, that part definitely seems wrong to me. I hope you're able to get a satisfactory explanation (and/or some compensation) from the DZ.