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About bdb2004


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    Cypres 2

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  1. With about 40 jumps I agreed to do a 5-way jump on a day with questionable cloud cover. Cloud bases were at about 4k and were probably about 1,500' thick. Plan was to break off at 5k and pull at 3.5k. We funneled the formation right around 6k and by the time I got stable we were in the cloud and it was time to break off and track. I had no idea where anyone was or what direction they had tracked in. I was entirely unprepared for this scenario. I stayed in place, hoping everyone else had tracked, got through the cloud, cleared my airspace as well as I could, and waved off and pulled a little below 3k. Thankfully my hope that everyone else had recovered and tracked way came true. I haven't come even remotely close to a cloud since then. Several times I've gotten to the DZ and chose to stay on the ground. A couple of times I've been in the plane, got to the door and looked down, saw a big cloud, said nope, not going. I'm often told that I'm overly cautious. I've even been called a p---y once or twice. Whatever.
  2. This has all been super helpful. Thank you!
  3. All of this makes good sense, thank you! A follow up question....if a plane is frequently (1 or 2 times a month) not flying due to unexpected maintenence, is that a good sign or bad sign? On one hand its a little disconcerting that the plane is grounded, but on the other shows they're serious about not flying if it isn't running well. Thoughts?
  4. GoJump Oceanside has had two Caravan crashes in the past six months. Maybe it was coincidence, maybe it was careless flying, maybe it was bad maintenance, maybe it was something else entirely. I honestly have no idea....and that is why I ask the following question. As a relatively inexperienced jumper with no flight experience whatsoever, I am simply not aware of most aircraft issues that could have catastrophic consequences. Sure, there are obvious things I can be aware of. I can look at the fuel gauge when I get in the plane, I can tell if the pilot is acting more like an acrobatic pilot than a jump pilot, etc. So, what ARE the things that myself or others like me should be aware of, be keeping an eye out for, etc? I'm not talking about looking over the maintenance records on a weekly basis and generally being a pain in the ass, but rather, what are the basic things we should know (but that most of us, I am guessing, don't).
  5. Thank you, all, for your thoughts thus far. I'll definitely check out Skydive Arizona while I'm down there. I'll also likely pop in on Skydive Buckeye as well. At least based on their website, they appear to be the most licenced-jumper-friendly of the ones I've looked at.
  6. There's a possibility I'll be heading to visit family in the Phoenix area in the next few months, and I was thinking about bringing my gear with me and getting in a few jumps. Besides Skydive Arizona, are there any DZs in the area that are open to licensed jumpers? As someone who comes from a small 182 DZ and only has time to jump a couple of times a month, I'm honestly a bit intimidated by how big and busy it is at Skydive Arizona. But for some reason, I thought I once heard that most of the dropzones in Arizona mostly catered to the tandem crowd. Thoughts?
  7. Note also that the dropzone you go to can play a big part in how much time you spend waiting vs jumping. I jump at a 182 dropzone, and we're the only one on this side of the state. As such, it is really popular for tandems. On Sunday I showed up a little after 10am, immediately manifested, and finally got my first (and only) jump of the day around 3pm. I could have done more if I had arrived earlier, but that's on me. I'm more than happy with getting 1 or 2 jumps in on any given day, I'm not concerned with racking up jump numbers. In the mean time I got to hang out, chat with a lot of different people, watch tandem students having the time of their life, etc. All that is good for me anyway, because I'm such an introvert that it is good to be forced to interact with people.
  8. You already are. I'm 110 jumps in, although about 3/4 of those were a decade ago....and getting back into the flow is like starting all over with regards to the fear. On the drive to the DZ I'm looking for excuses to turn around. Walking up to manifest I'm thinking about reasons that I should just hang out and watch. Riding up in the airplane I'm thinking about all of the things that could possibly go wrong. And then I remind myself, I've been well trained, even if I am inexperienced. My gear is in great shape, I've done a thorough gear check, and I had someone else do a secondary pin check. I trust the people that I'm jumping with, that we're all going to do what we've planned. I have backup plans in case something goes awry, and I have backup plans for the backup plans in case they really go awry. Finally, I remind myself what those first 5 seconds are going to feel like, which is why I do what I do. Then when the door opens, I take a deep breath and get ready to exit. And for the next 5 minutes or so, I get to experience something that is incomparable to anything else that I do in my life.
  9. This is exactly my experience as well. My wife is high risk, so I am very, very careful about where I go and what I do. I really miss skydiving. More than that, I really miss going to the gym. But both of those are out because of videos and photos I'm constantly seeing on Facebook. Meanwhile, I've got plenty of other things I can do for fun and that can keep me in shape until a vaccine is finally ready to go.
  10. Maybe spend some time in a tunnel over the next couple of years, then skip the tandem and do an AFF jump on your 18th birthday?
  11. I wish I could tell you. I've only jumped twice this year, and now my rig is in the closet and probably isn't coming back out until (a) infection rates are back down to the levels immediately prior to reopening, or (b) there is a reasonably effective vaccine. Masks or no masks, I simply don't believe that cramming 5 people in a 182, or 15+ into a caravan, etc., is a good idea. This is also definitely NOT a skydiving thing. I was at a powerlifting competition this past weekend (the other USPA, lol) where masks were mandated for everyone but the lifter on the platform. And yet there was the Head Referee, all day long, yelling commands to the lifters with no mask.
  12. Now that we've been out of lockdown for over a month, I'm wondering who all has returned to jumping and who is still sitting it out? I jumped a couple of times shortly after reopening, on weekdays when there were fewer people at the DZ, but now that infection rates are climbing again I've once again grounded myself. My wife is immunocompromised, and the way I see it, I'm not okay with risking her life just to jump. Fortunately my home DZ looks to be as busy as ever, which is awesome for them. Unfortunately I just have to wait a while before I can join in the fun.
  13. I replied yes, but I am really more on the fence. The truth is that where I live and where I jump, the infection rate is quite low. As such, violating social distancing rules for a few jumps (but not nearly as many as I hoped to do otherwise) wouldn't be that much of a risk. Except, I suspect there is a very good chance that my part of the state opens long before the more populous areas. That leads me to believe that we'll have a huge influx of jumpers crossing the mountains to jump, and likely bringing the virus over with them. So, I would jump with local jumpers from the area, but certainly not with visiting jumpers whose DZs aren't yet open. Side note: Skydiving aside, the possibility of visitors bring the virus to my area already scares me since I live in a small but popular tourist town that is likely to be swarmed with people once restrictions are lifted.
  14. Unfortunately this is true. Certainly no one should put themselves in a situation where they experience hardship while helping other businesses. I am fortunate enough to where if I happen to lose a few hundred dollars, it would be really irritating but not life altering.