Got up nice and early this morning, with the aim to get to the dropzone, and slam out a few more jumps towards my B license, but, the weather had other ideas, and by 10:30AM, the days jumping had been binned due to low cloud, which just wasnt going away :(, but, every cloud has a silver lining, and what better opportunity to use the instructors on the dropzone to get some B license briefings done 🙂
Previously, my B license paperwork has only had a lonely ‘packing’ signature on it, but after today, its now also signed for ‘Trained in Spotting Techniques’, ‘Received a full safety brief on, be familiar with and be able to carry out the duties and responsibilities of a Jumpmaster’, ‘Received an Introduction to the Operations Manual’, and ‘Received a full safety brief on, be familiar with and be able to carry out flight line checking on other parachutists of Category 8 and above’.
For this, we were taken to the plane, and shown how to actually ‘spot’ the landing area, and the way the plane is traveling, while looking at reference points on the ground, taught emergency procedures, and the importance of exiting of different group types of skydivers. We were taught how to inspect another skydiver, and their equipment, to make sure they are safe, and part of this test involved us being sent out of the room, while fully kitted up skydivers, had ‘issues’ introduced to their kit, for us to find, and while nearly everybody found every fault that skydivers had with their equipment, a half twist in my chest strap, hidden by my hook knife did go unnoticed while i was being examined (I was told to twist my strap in this way by the examiner for the other person to notice), but, I found everything on the 2 skydivers that was wrong that i examined.
Next, I did the CH2 safety brief, and written exam, which I passed and was also signed off, so hopefully, when i return to the dropzone tomorrow, I will get a chance to actually do the practical ‘Spotting’ and this will gain me my JM1 (Jump Master Grade 1), and if the weather allows, and if i can pull it off, do 5 landings, where i say before getting on the plane ‘I will land within 30M of an intended landing spot’ and a few other canopy control manoeuvres, and that will be all of my B license paperwork completed, and will get me my CH2 (Canopy Handling Grade 2), and then i just need to get to the 50 jumps marker, for my B license. Excited much, oh yesssss 🙂
As the weather was poor today, we also got to play ‘OMG!!! WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE IN A PLANE CRASH!!!!!’ but, its not as bad as it sounds 🙂 After doing the flightline checking, as we were all kitted up, it was seen as an ideal time to take some new photos to show examples of the BRACE! position in case of an aircraft emergency, so, all kitted up, and onto the plane we go, get strapped in, and then, EMERGENCY!!!! BRACE POSITION!!!!!! and hold, and pretend youre about to be involved in a plane crash, but, dont look like your panicing, but, dont smile. After numerous pictures and positions, and screams of ‘ohh feck we all gonna die’ the pictures were done, then there was the really strange thing of actually stepping out of the plane, fully kitted up, onto the ground. Getting into the plane, even though I knew we were’nt going anywhere, my heart was doing the usual thumping. Getting onto the plane for the spotting excercise, while it felt weird, because i didnt have any gear on, there was still a little anticipation there, but, for these photos, wearing everything as though about to actually skydive, walking to the plane, was the usual ‘excited’ feeling, but then getting on the plane, it was facing the wrong way, there was no noise, and there was no wind from the propeller / engine, but, climbing into the plane, fully kitted up, still had the nervousness that ‘im about to jump out of a plane really soon’, and even after the photos, just about to simply ‘step’ out of the plane, fully kitted up, stood at the door, i had that feeling that makes me keep doing this, and i was only 6 feet off the ground, wishing i could somersault out of the door, into a 120mph freefall.
Tomorrow (today now as im typing this as nearly 1:30AM) I’d like to get my 5 CH2 pre declared landings, and 3 manoeuvres done, within 6 jumps, which will then put me just over 10 jumps from getting my B license 🙂