Jump 69, Swansea. The cloud

The plan for this jump is to exit the plane backwards, and keep stable. Im going to be the first out, so there will also be some tracking going on as well 🙂

Once the plane is at 12,500 feet, the green light is on, im in the door, and i fall away from the plane, in a sitting position for a few seconds, before the wind flips me around all over the place. I get stable, and flip onto my back, before turning back over and doing a 360 turn. Where i notice that below and in front of me, in the position im about to track, is the top of quite a fluffy looking cloud. I track over towards it and stop when im right above it, and enter the top of the cloud at about 6000 feet. At 4000 feet i still havent come out of the bottom of it, i wave off and pull. The canopy opens, once again with closed cells on the left hand side, so i quickly reach up for the toggles and a few flares pop them open. As i let the toggles back up, im thrown into a hard left turn, i pull the right toggle down to cancel it out, then i start turning right, so i let it up slightly, and once again im thrown into a hard left turn.

I look over the entire canopy, nothing is out of shape, I check all the lines, nothing looks wrong or strange, yet the control seems wrong. I visually locate my cut away and reserve handles, check my altimeter, still at just under 3000 feet, and still fighting with the canopy, being thrown hard sideways, and decide that as soon as i come out of the bottom of the cloud, or 2000 feet, If this is still fighting, them im going to be cutting it away, and, im a little scared.

At about 2200 feet, i come out of the bottom of the cloud, and, everything is perfectly normal, im flying straight, turning now feels as it should, and i drive straight towards the landing area, before turning into the wind for a nice uneventfull landing.

On speaking with the chief instructor about it, it was explained to me about the winds within clouds, and why only newbies track towards them, so, this is something i wont be looking to do again in a hurry, ill make sure i stick to the nice big clear gaps instead 🙂

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