Mar 13

Jump 161, Low hop n pop

After a visit to the beach, theres just enough time to get on the last lift of the day for an accuracy practice jump on the way home 🙂

As the plane starts to climb, im told that if the pilot forgets to pass the dropzone at 3500 feet, ill be going to the top, 12,000 feet instead, but, at about 2800 feet the red ‘get ready’ light comes on.

The doors open, we climb to 4000 feet, and the green light comes on and im given the thumbs up. I get a good stable exit, and deploy my canopy within a few seconds, and watch the plane fly away, before having a look around as the suns about to set

I setup for my landing, but once again as theres little wind, i overshoot my target, by around 20M

Mar 12

Jump 160, Low hop n pop

Another low exit jump, just to get straight back into things, but this time with more than one person watching my exit, and the threat of a beer fine if i go unstable, so, no pressure.

We rapidly get to 3,500 feet, the doors open, and im out, perfectly flat, and stable, and deployed and under a canopy, all in a few seconds. Quick enough that i can still perfectly see heads out of the plane door watching me. I give them 2 thumbs up and turn away before some hard turns to get me down to landing pattern entry altitude, where this time i land ~2M short of my target.

A much better jump this time 🙂

Mar 12

Jump 159, Low hop n pop

This jump is an accuracy practise jump, exiting the plane at 3,500 feet, quickly getting stable, and deploying my canopy. The ride to exit height is over in a few minutes, and im out of the door. As i throw my pilot chute, i go unstable, and tip forward. I then feel something pull my foot. I look down towards my foot (which puts me into more of a head down position, to see my pilot chute wrapped around my foot.

This is where time slowed down

So many thought processes all going on at the same time, not a single one of them was panic induced or thoughts of doom. But, i was aware that if i was pulled vertical, and the pilot chute let go as i was vertical, i could induce a step through in my canopy, if it opened. I lift my head back up, have both hand on my cut away and reserve handles and am kicking my foot, then im pulled upright.

I look up to see the best sight that i could see right now, my main canopy opening, but i keep my hands on my reserve handles untill its fully open. The lines all look fine, grab the toggles and do some control checks, everythings fine.

Its at this point i say to myself ‘phew, that was funky’, and collapse my slider and get down to landing pattern altitude.

Theres not much wind, so i overshoot my target by around 20M

Mar 05

Jump 158, Solo, Training worked

jumping again, yay 🙂

Approaching 12,000 feet, and again, im first out, so i dive out backwards, track a little away from the plane, and once again try a slight head down position, which i manage to hold for about 15 seconds 🙂 and im at 7000 feet already, wow, that went fast, i locate the markers on the ground, and turn into the wind, before deploying my canopy at 3,500 feet.

Its at this time, as my canopys opening, that i think that im further away from the landing area than i really should be, and, seeing how far away other canopies are opening from me, think that i may have tracked away from the plane a lot further than i thought, especially with the wind behind me

At around 2000 feet, im almost certain that im not going to make it back to the landing area, as the wind is simply stopping me from making any forward ground towards where i need to be. I look at a spot thats clear directly below me, and another one behind me. At the moment, i decide on the spot below me, between the end of the runway, and the road, with the backup plan that if i drift away from it, that at 1000 feet i will abandon this one, and go for the area behind me, on the other side of the road, and a bit further from the runway

At 1000 feet, im still sinking in to my first backup landing area nicely, 800 feet, 600 feet, 500, 400, 300, 200, fook. The dark bit of nice plain ground is actually waterlogged, i come down to it, flare, and am taken sideways / backwards. Dragged through the wet mud as im trying to collapse my canopy, just as it hits the road, before dragging it out of harms way

Not the normal uneventfull landing that i post about, or am used to, but, without panicking, my training about being able to find an ‘out’ if you know youre not going to make it kicked in. I knew i was going to land close to a road, but kept myself away from it, untill i was dragged towards it, but, from that, ill know for if it happens again, to choose the ‘other’ side of the road from the wind, just in case