Today i plan to jump as much as possible, so, i get to the dropzone nice and early, and get manifested for the first lift. Its a little bit windy so theres a 50 jump limit in place, i check that its only a jump number limit, and not a canopy size limit, and i then start getting kitted up. Chatting with another 2 club jumpers, we decide to do a 3 way jump. One outside on the step, me in the door, and another to follow out of the door as soon as i jump then the 3 of us link up, what could possibly go wrong……
once the door open and the green light is on, the first jumper climbs out onto the rear step of the plane, im in the door, i give the pre agreed signal, and he drops away as i jump. im quickly stable, and he just keeps dropping away from me, next, i see the guy who exited behind me go screaming past to my left, and stop with the other guy, about 1000 feet below me, and the pair are getting further away. I try the things ive been told to try to get down to them, but its just not happening, this is where FS1 coaching is needed.
Im aware that one of them is going to be pulling at 4000 feet, im pulling at 3500 feet, and im directly above them, so i track away as far as possible, as we were first out of the plane, i know the direction im tracking wont cause problems for anyone else, i then see the pair split and track away from each other, the first guy deploys as im roughly level with him (but miles away) and i deploy 2 seconds after this.
My canopy slowly opens (as its always done) and theres end cell closure on both ends, but, im now expecting to see something like this on opening, so simply reach up, and as the canopy starts to dive forward, pull down on the toggles and it fully inflates. I turn into the wind, and, stop. I look straight down, and im not moving across the ground. I do a few practise flares, and im moving backwards, plus, im inline sideways with where i want to land. I pull on the front risers to try and get some forward movement happening, which works a little bit, untill i get down to just over 1000 feet, then i turn slightly, and wooshhhh, im gone past the landing area, aw crap, so i turn straight back around and line myself up with the cross, i know theres not a chance that ill make it, as im not covering any ground, but, im only going to be about 250 yards short of it, and still within the landing area, just not as close as id like to be, and ive landed further away in the past. I simply hold untill its time to flare, making small left and right corrections as needed, then when the times right, i flare, and, get picked back up and taken backwards. I keep hold of it, as i dont want to surge forwards when im only a few feet from the ground, and get plonked down backwards a couple of seconds later, I roll it off, and collapse my canopy, ready for the walk back 🙂