Oct 24

Jump 99, solo

Like the last jump write up, this is being typed a couple of weeks later. The exit was a rolling tumble outof the door, and tried to open stable on my back, which didnt quite work as planned. I tried to get stable on my back, but kept losing control. At 6000 feet i decided to get myself nice and stable, and tracked into the wind, before levelling out and deploying my main canopy at 3500 feet. The canopy opened with the usual end cells collapsed, and a few pumps of the lines popped them open, and i turned towards the landing area, and held that line all the way back.

At about 500 feet i realise im not going to clear a patch of rough ground, with a few small trees, so apply a little more brake to land in the small clear grass before it, its still in the landing zone, so wont be landing off the drop zone. I hold the brakes, and land right on the very edge, and as i flare, my foot gets caught in the longer grass on the edge, and i face plant into the taller wet grass, and the canopy collapses on top of me

A fun jump with a wet ending, itook the canopy home without packing it to leave it drying out

Oct 24

Jump 98, solo

This jump is being typed up over two weeks after doing it due to site issues. The jumpwas a rolling exit, and as i was first out, a track with slight downward dive. This levelled out and was followed by a backflip, and practised some slow and fast turns using just my legs, before deploying at 3500 feet.

Coming in on half brakes for the whole of the canopy descent, it was starting to spit with rain, so on landing quickly gathered up my canopy and headed to the packing area.

Oct 18

A few pics

A few pictures to break up all of the text 🙂

Oct 12

Jump 97, solo & canopy work

Just like the last jump, this will be to pracitse stuff in freefall as well as under canopy.

I do a rolling exit, and open up stable, i pick a reference on the ground, then practise side sliding, fast and slow falling, and moving forwards and backwards, all without turning. I wave off at 4,500 feet and deploy at 4000. Once my canopy is open and ive done my checks, i simulate a break fire by stalling the canopy using the rear risers, and as the canopy pops back open, i release one break toggle. This starts the canopy turning, but, as im on quite a large canopy, its not an aggressive turn. I carry out an emergency drill practise, twice, before reaching up for the rear riser and pulling on it to cancel out the turn.

I then stall the canopy again, recover it, and as one break is out, it starts to turn, i practise my emergency drills, before reaching up for both toggles, and get things back under control, and heading for the approach to the landing pattern.

This time im not avoiding tandems and land nice and close to the flags 🙂

Oct 12

Jump 96, solo & canopy work

This jump will be trying out a few things in freefall and under canopy. I exit the plane, pick my heading, then do a small track, but arching myself upwards, instead of keeping straight. I then level out, pick a reference on the ground, and practise side sliding, before another small track at 5000 feet, waving off at 4000 and deploying at 3,500 feet.

Under canopy, i fly in half brakes for nearly all of the flight, turning by either letting one toggle up (elevation turns) or by pulling one toggle even further down (depression turns) but never flying above half brakes.

After entering the landing pattern, the final approach will once again take me over the top of the tandem landing area, but, i notice that a tandem is coming up behind me, and is descending faster than me. I decide to abort the patern, and instead turn away from the landing area, for a straight down the side of the runway landing. I know this is going to put me about 200 yards away from the flags, but, i simply dont know the procedure for a situation like this, so instead of trying to make something up and land close, id rather be safe and have a small walk. I land fine, gather up my canopy and stroll up the side of the runway.

Oct 05

Even more no jumping :'(

The skys blue, theres a bit of a breeze, so its off to the dropzone. But, when i get there, theres a 20 jump limit in place with maximum canopy size of 170. As the day goes on, this limit drops to 100 jumps and a maximum 190 canopy, which is still not enough for me to jump, as i have 95 jumps and my canopy is 220 sq foot

Oct 03

No jumping today :(

Second day of the canopy course, and as i leave the house, looking at a local TV transmitting mast, i know the clouds are lower than 1800 feet, but hope that when i get to the coast, the wind may be blowing them clear, but, this wasnt the case. We spend the morning going through the next 4 jumps, planning them out ready for when the weather allows us to continue.

Oct 02

Jump 95, 7k hop n pop

Canopy course jump #4

In the classroom, we are told all about canopy ‘stalling’ . Ive read the theory about this, and its been the one reason ive not pulled my brakes ‘too much’ as i simply dont want it to happen to me. For this jump, we are told the main 2 ways the canopy stalls, and, we have to intentionally make it happen. This will allow us to familiarize ourselfs with the maximum brakes before causing a stall, by knowing when the stall will happen.

The plane ride up was VERY quiet, with people looking unusually worried, with a lot of reserve handle checking, and rechecking.

At 7000 feet, i exit, nice and stable, and deploy, pump up the end cells, do my checks, check all around me, then pull the brakes right down to my knees, and hold them there. I pretty much stop, and just float. so i let the brakes back up, i grab the break lines higher than the handles, and again, pull as far as i can, and hold it. I slow right down, the back of the canopy starts to flutter, then, the center collapses, and the ends of the canopy meet as i fall backwards. HOLY SH!T!!! I gently let the brakes back up, the canopy inflates, and i surge forward, face down, vertically. AARGHHH HOLYYYYY SH!!!!TTTTTT!!!! That was worse than when the canopy collapsed, and i wasnt expecting that at all. I wait for the canopy to fully recover, check my altitude, and do it all over again. Twice.

The other type of stall is caused by pulling too much on the rear risers, so after checking all around me and my altitude, i grab the rear risers as high as i can reach, and start to pull them down. I slow down, then instead of falling backwards, the canopy simply folds in half, like a V shape where the front meets the back of the canopy, and i drop straight down. I let go of the risers gently, and the canopy simply pops back open. I do it again, but hold it collapsed for a little longer, and it pops open again, and i repeat a 3rd time, before starting my landing pattern for a good landing nice and close to the flags.

I stalled the canopy completely 6 times, in one jump, and survived 🙂 and it was great fun.

Oct 02

Jump 94, 7k hop n pop

Canopy course jump 3.

After being briefed for this jump, newer jumpers like myself are a little excited, we have to spiral, and this is not allowed at swansea, but, for this jump only, we have to get some speed into the canopy, by completing 3x full hard turns (spiraling) then as we exit the final turn, hit ‘the sweet spot’ of the canopy.

We climb to 7000 feet, i exit nice and stable, and deploy, pump up the end cells, carry out my checks, ensure all around, and below me is clear, and i bury one toggle as far as itll go.

Im thrown sideways, and things are getting fast, ive never done this before, but, its great fun, as i level out, things are pretty fast compared to what im used to, and the sweet spot is also now a lot higher on the toggles. I get to do this 3 times in total 😀

Next i have to fly on half brakes, quarter brakes, and on 3/4 brakes, where everything is very slow. During this, ive also changes how i ‘hang’ in the harness, im now ‘sitting’ in it instead, by adjusting the leg straps, and i can turn the canopy by lifting and lowering my legs

At 1000 feet, i get into the landing pattern, and again, find the landing a little hard trying to get level before flaring,

Oct 02

Jump 93, 5k hop n pop

Canopy course jump 2.

The plan for this jump i to find the canopies ‘sweet spot’, this is the toggle position where you are no longer traveling downward, and only moving forward, for a short time.

I exit at 5000 feet, but go unstable and flip over, i quickly recover, get stable, and deploy, pump up the end cells, carry out my checks, and prepare to start. I need to look at the front of the canopy, but, my slider is in the way, so, for the first time ever, i reach up, and collapse my slider, and i can now see clearly.

I pull on the toggles a few times to work out just the right amount needed, let the canopy recover, then pull, and hit the spot, i repeat this another 2 times. I then repeat this, while looking straight ahead, then look at the canopy when i think its right, and do this a total of 3 times. Next, i check all around me, and close my eyes, and repeat the process, and, im in the right place :).

Im now just under 2000 feet, so i prepare myself for getting into the landing pattern. At about 700 feet i realise theres somebody catching me up, so i cut short my approach to the flags, and land about 150 yards further away, to ensure theres loads of room between us on the final approach.

I try to ‘hit the sweet spot’ just before my flare, but seem to land very hard, but, on the video it looks fine, i guess its something ill need to practise