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    Skydive City Zephyrhills, FL
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  1. Not really right there in the art's district. At Ross and Flora is the Myerson symphony hall and the Winspear opera house.
  2. Saw this report today about a jumper in downtown Dallas. Anybody know anything about it? There's also a video of the report inside the link with police helicopter spotlighting the ground and cops sitting around. There are several tall buildings in the area, but I don't think any are tall enough for BASE in that immediate block area.
  3. Well then, by all means, don't get together with one. Here's my tip - look for insecure chicks with daddy issues and eating disorders. The ED doesn't necessarily have to be full-blown when you meet her, but make sure that you comment early on in the relationship on how much she eats on dates, even if it's just a salad. Make sure she knows how important her body is to you by letting her know how hot it is all the time. Problem solved. You just described my ex-fiance to a tee. I'll be the first one to tell you that isn't a viable option and probably the worst advice you could offer. I wish I could elaborate more, but some of this stuff is pretty sensitive DZ drama. All I can say is stay away from the bulimic, attention grubbing, gold digging whores of the world cause it will lead to nothing but bills and severe forehead bruises from beating one's head against the wall.
  4. I'm not much for packing in like sardines, especially first jump in the morning, but I find it pretty relaxing to just put my head back on the top of my container, close my eyes, and just relax.
  5. I have a few jumps out of DeLand's PAC''s like a miniaturized Otter. My only gripe is the small exit area for tall guys like myself. It can get kinda awkward. Flight wise, it flies like any other single-engine low wing aircraft. Pitches, yaws, and bounces like one at least.
  6. I'm pretty much still an FNG, but from my prospective, I wanted to get right back up in the plane if I didn't have to leave for home within that hour. I had my first cutaway a couple weeks ago on my 12th jump. The only thought that really went through my head after looking up was "oh fuck" when I started going into a hard flat spin. Had a line over mal. But the reserve saved my ass from splat and for that I'm grateful. I guess the worst part was the 2 week break before I jumped was on my mind just a bit before I dove again. But I've jumped 13 times since then. What did it mean to me? Gave me a lot of confidence in being able to get the job done when faced with an emergency. I did a couple riser tugs and checked out pretty quickly afterward just like I was trained. Didn't save my handle though.
  7. Oh and a couple other things to watch out for...there's a lot of fuckary in the pilot school game. There is plenty of bait and switch in that industry. Smaller schools often make huge promises about delivering results in X amount of time but rarely deliver. This isn't to say that small schools are bad, because many of them are quite good, but use your gut instinct. Before you court a few schools, take a primer about aircraft maintenance records and check them out for yourself. Any charter operation should gladly furnish all records they must keep for the FAA anyway if asked. Just like some DZ's might have a tendency to cut corners on maintenance to increase that profit margin a bit, pilot schools will do the same. The margins are already so slim that whenever the plane farts, it ripples through the balance sheet. Good luck to you. Flying is the second most satisfying thing I've ever done next to skydiving. Both are great hobbies, but take dedication and sacrifice to do as a career. Judging by your original post, I think you're doing this for a hobby. My advice is to keep it that way unless you own the plane! Ain't no money in flying anymore! Ask any new career pilot and they'll all tell you they aren't in it for the money. It's true!
  8. I would not recommend buying your own plane until you've got your license. A lot of things can happen in training, including possibly figuring out that flying just isn't for you. That may sound silly, but I've known several people sink thousands of dollars into training just to figure out they don't have the chops for flying. If that happens, it's easier to cut your losses and move on without having a plane attached to you. Sure, you can sublease it out to an FBO or a school, but you're delving deeper into the FAR's regarding an aircraft for charter use and the additional maintenance requirements for such. Either way, it's not cheap to own an airplane. I would also like to stress that the FAA mandated minimum is 40 hours total time, to which I've only known 1 person throughout the different flight schools I went to during my training (out of hundreds of people) that actually did it in 40 hours. The odds are against you for a perfect 40 hours. It can be done, but it's very highly unlikely. I actually did a lot of my post-private training with ATP flight school. The training is accelerated and they deliver quality results. It's a very large flight school that has many locations, including one near you more than likely. If not, you can crank it out in a couple months at one of their boarding campuses. Their Cessna private course runs just shy of $10k, but includes everything. For another $3k, you can train in glass cockpit Diamond aircraft. (I have about 100 hours in Diamond's and they're fantastic airplanes!) I actually went to school to be a commercial pilot, flew 3-4 times a week, and it still took me around a year and 50 some-odd hours to get my single-engine private while juggling a full class load. You have to account for weather scrubbing and other factors beyond your control. I don't know a single place you can go to get it done in 'a couple weeks.' That seems like quite the pipe dream to me. If one can soak all that in and complete 40 hours of training in 2 weeks, then you must be a robot. There is so much more to flying than actual stick time and you'll want to know all of it to feel safe. If you can't take months off to commit to flying, then take your time and do a thorough job with all your coursework over a longer period of time. I'm a firm believer that taking the time to do it right will lead to a better pilot in the end. Plus, you're less likely to kill yourself or someone else!
  9. The nerves really didn't subside for me until I was done with AFF. When I was done and had a few good, stable jumps under my belt, and my body was trained to the sensations, I don't have any problems doing a swan dive out the back anymore. Granted, I'm only 12 jumps in, but I'm now having fun when I'm not worried about failing an AFF level. Keep jumping, the fear will go away very soon.
  10. So just yesterday, I completed my AFF levels and moved onto solo. This morning was my first solo jump ever. The first solo jump and the second coach jump went virtually flawlessly, but the third jump, second ever solo jump, didn't quite go as well as the subsequent jumps. So we're at 13,500 and the green light pops on, gear checks done, normal exit, great set of maneuvers, and pulled between 4,500-4,000 AGL. I instantly felt something was wrong right away. I look up and I had a line over malfunction occurring on my second ever solo jump! I tried a couple corrective toggle pulls and gave the riser a good yank, but nothing responded and I preceded to enter a pretty quick flat spin. Cut away the main and deployed the reserve. Boy am I glad the reserve was there! Call me crazy, but if it wasn't for the lack of time left before I had to head for home, I would have gone right back up on the next load. It was definitely a good "oh fuck" moment, but it's just made me want to go more. I was more pissed off about getting jolted by the harness twice more than anything. I'm a big guy and I've already got some pretty gnarly bruises going on the inside of my thighs. Anyway, props to all my instructors out at Zhills for pounding the proper procedures into my thick skull. They've definitely taught me how to save my ass and I got to practice it pretty early on. I've heard some war stories around there of guys with 1000+ jumps without a cut away yet. And big props due to the riggers. It was really them that ultimately saved my ass. I've got a 2 week break before I can get back out there, but I can't wait to go again! Beers for all
  11. I skydive because fast cars and airplanes didn't quite do it for me.
  12. +1000 both from a pilot's perspective and a Zhills jumper's perspective.