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  1. Class E airspace, which is controlled, starts at 1200 feet and covers most of the country. Your DZ may be in Class G but you're probably flying and jumping through Class E most of the time.
  2. Never had a problem with my Phantom X, which worked very well for me.
  3. It may be more interesting to ask, what's your heart rate on the way up? Going out the door? In freefall?
  4. Haha. You're a dork. We land on their land. Then land on public land. If the mountain / cliff / whatever is public property, surely there must be some public land nearby. I can understand someone objecting to damage occurring on their own land... and nobody has the right to trespass someone else's property. The way I read the article, they were upset that the activity was occurring at all.
  5. Signed. I hate the paternalistic attitude of the villagers in article. They're bothered by accidents and risk, so they want to stop other people from exercising their freedom to jump. They really think they have the right? I hope it doesn't get that bad in America. From what I've heard, Europe is more paternalistic. In Germany for example, it's illegal to land at an airport that isn't open and staffed. If that was the case here, I never could have gotten my license.
  6. So true, as I am learning. All of my friends (many of whom are pilots) are understanding, excited, even jealous of my jumping (because someone or something won't let them jump). Then I try to tell my mom... I never expected so much hostility... she was shouting "dumb, dumb, dumb" and "it's stupid, you don't get anything out of it." I tried to explain it like this: pretend that you do get something out of it, and it's worth the risk to you, then why is that bad? But she was like a broken record... "You don't get anything out of it, it serves no purpose, it's one thing to do it once and cross it off your bucket list..." If someone else is taking a risk I wouldn't take, my attitude is, if you enjoy your life more because of it, good for you. What's the alternative? Take no risks ever so you can ensure a comfortable life of working a lousy job and watching TV in the evening? She's likely to stop talking to me if/when she finds out that I continue to jump. She can't accept it. It's too bad...
  7. Which was your 28th freefall. Well, thanks for posting that. You've just proven that it's not a big deal.
  8. Yes! Shifting between pretend and real seems to be an issue for me.
  9. Wow, so does that mean you didn't start soloing until jump 48 or you got your A license then?
  10. Well, that's the weird thing. I feel relaxed. I enjoy the jump out. I look forward to it. It's just that when I try to put my body in the position I practiced on the ground, I end up making every muscle stiff and probably overcontrolling my body. It's hard to tell if I'm doing it right, besides keeping track of altitude and doing the tasks. The last time I really thought I would nail it, I was so excited, but I ended up being even more unstable.
  11. Namowal, your cartoons are incredible. They remind me of Carl Barks. I also like your sense of color and space, like in the first panel where the mechanical duck is breaking apart. I hope you make enough to put into a book from Lulu or some place like that! I would buy one. Tod
  12. I can't stop thinking about skydiving. It's probably too early to say, but I might be addicted. I apologize for posting this personal story, which is probably boring. I also hate writing about myself. But I can't stop thinking about it. I did my 3rd AFF jump Sunday. Before that I had one tandem. The first time was great, but I was more speechless than anything else. It wasn't some huge orgasmic rush like some people describe. It was absolutely a great ride, something I would repeat any time, but I left wondering "As great as it was, is it worth all the risk?" Then I stopped at a store on the way home and it started to hit me. Everything else is so... boring... so slow. If I decide not to do this, what exactly am I returning to? What these people are doing? Picking out good fruit and trying to get a deal on ground beef? Not that I'm putting them down... it's just that, when you know so much more is possible in life, it's hard to forget it, right? "He who rides a tiger cannot dismount." So I thought, I'll do one more jump and see if I still like it. I signed up for the AFF first jump course. I thought I would just relax and get some work done until then. But as the end of the week approached, I ended up calling the closed DZ about 18 times in one day, whenever I saw a hole in the clouds, to see if I could get another tandem ride before the class. Cause I just needed to be up there, you know? The class took eight hours. I was the only student. I had excellent instructors. But talk about information and sensory overload. I've got my instrument rating and about 274 hours (though I haven't flown in a few years) so I'm kind of familiar with some of the territory, but wow, it was a lot to take in. Then the ride up in the Caravan and my first jump wearing my own parachute. I loved the exit. I'm not trying to brag, of course I was nervous. But I also like the feeling of letting go. I also probably had a good false sense of security, knowing two guys were holding on to me to make sure I get through freefall safely. We'll see how I feel at the door when I solo for the first time. Freefall was a blur. So unstable. Can't breathe enough through my nose. Open my mouth, mouth is dry. Then I pull. And guess what... I have line twist. About six or seven. Now I realize this is not actually a big deal, but at the time I was really fearing this. A nice woman told me that on her 4th jump she had line twist she couldn't clear and had to cut (but it was because she was also spinning, which I forgot). So I had it in my mind that aside from a malfunction, I better not get any line twist. Who wants problems the first time you have to fly and land something you've never flown before? When I saw the twist I thought, I can't land this way, and if I have to cut, I will. No emotion, no panic. But of course it turned out to be no big deal. I hope I react the same way in the future. The canopy ride was great. I stayed up as long as I could. I just loved hanging there, looking around, looking down. I looked down at about 3,000 feet and was fascinated thinking, that's a long way to fall, all I have is two straps keeping me up here. But that's what's so cool about it. The few minutes you get under canopy is better than an airplane ride, to me at least. You get to see all around you, up, down, everywhere. You don't have a bunch of systems and gizmos to manage. Just two simple controls. You're not inside a machine that is flying. YOU are actually flying. Afterward I hung out until way after sunset, then drove to my home airport to see a couple of my pilot friends. They were impressed and kept telling me they wouldn't have the balls to jump. Which I did NOT like, because then I feel like I'm bragging if I talk about it. I actually had a lot of fear leading up to this. I always wanted to skydive, but never seriously thought about it. Until a few weeks ago, when I actually sat down and learned about it, and realized... it's doable... people do it... and they survive... why not me? From that moment, I knew I would jump at least once. Just knowing that I would, gave me a rush! I was charged up every day. Someone thought I was on speed! But I also grappled with a lot of fear every single day, to the point where I couldn't sleep. I read nothing but accident reports. The logical part of my brain was trying to do what it does best -- keep me alive at all costs. But the emotional side won out. Do you want to be alive, but dead inside? What if it's as good as they say? So that night after my first AFF I still wasn't sure, and I told my friends that. They were surprised because they thought I was hooked. I hardly slept. I dreamed about skydiving. When I woke up, I thought, I don't have to do this. It's just a plane ride, a minute of falling, then a canopy ride and a landing. That's all. So much can go wrong. Come on, how could it possibly be worth it? Then I took a long look around the room I'm in, and I look outside, up at the sky, and I get really dissatisfied. Seriously dissatisfied. Like, this is all there is? Laying in bed in this room, not jumping? And then what's next? Sit in front of a computer screen for thirty years? So I drove back out to the DZ for more! I did two more AFF jumps. It will be a few more days before I can do more. And this is all I can think about. I can hardly do my work. Do you ever get the feeling that you'd give up everything you have to get something? Like, I don't care if I go broke, but I won't be satisfied if I am not doing this? You know how a lot of people see stuff as optional, as in, sure, I'll do another tandem, maybe next year some time. I never understood that attitude. I can't help but compare the other stuff in my life to skydiving. Nothing can match it. Collect stuff? Don't care. Own a lot of nice things? So what. Keep developing software? The world doesn't need any more. Somewhere on the USPA site there's a line like "now that you've done your first jump, colors seem better, the sun shines brighter..." I thought, yeah, sure, when I first read that. But now... I know this sounds sappy... but it's true. I mean, I was staring at these flowers in front of my house the other day. I never noticed them before. And other stuff like that. God, I hope it doesn't wear off. Anything can become routine after all. Maybe part of it is enjoying this intense experience, but knowing it could all end suddenly. Which it could anyway, even if you don't skydive. Still, I... feel like I appreciate my life more. Okay, enough Hallmark Channel stuff! Now the next thing on my mind is... money. Getting more. And burning it up fast! :) Ah, I'm probably addicted. I say probably because there is still a part of my brain that says, "You've survived so far, you can stop any time you know," but I just think.... now what sane person would do that?...
  13. I thought the horizon would help more in the sense of staying straight and level. Maybe I don't realize how unstable I am because I'm not SEEING it. Actually, I was kind of wondering why my instructors were jerking me around so much... when it was the exact opposite!
  14. Yep. That's definitely not enjoyable. And the money involved adds pressure to make fast progress. I'm going to go up and say, screw it, I'm going to enjoy myself. If it takes me 100 jumps to get my A license so be it.