Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Skydiving Lessons

After a little winter break it is time to fall out of planes again.

I used the good old AFF student kit for my first two jumps this year.
It has a big 280sqft canopy, so it was no problem getting back into it.
The first jump I did alone and for the second one Mark joined me to
give me some FS1 (Formation Skydiving) coaching.
To get to the next level I need to pass my FS1, so I figured the earlier I
start practicing the earlier I get to the next level.

On our first two coaching jumps we just practiced getting out of the plane together
and doing some slow and fast falling by de-arching and arching.
The goal for me was to stay close to Mark after he lets go.
The fast falling was not a problem.
I just arched a lot, which made me drop faster and catch up with Mark.
But, as you can see in the video, de-arching is a different matter.
It took me a while to figure it out and it still looks wobbly.

On our third jump, we practiced turns while keeping at the same level.
I kept drifting away while turning, probably because I was not keeping my eyes on Mark.
I was also flying quite flat. But it was fun and I finished with a nice tracking-away.

During the training I downsized to a smaller canopy, a 210sqft one, which is a bit more responsive
and a bit faster and a bit more fun flying.

We had a few days where we could not jump a lot. Either due to bad weather or a faulty plane.
So, I used my time to practice packing.
I have now passed my packing test and my packing certificate is sent off to be signed by the BPA :).
This means jumping gets a bit cheaper and I don't have to wait for other people to pack my stuff.

There a few things left on my todo list to get my B-license, which I really really want to get before year's end. I have to get at least 23 more jumps in. Do my jump-master training, do at least 5 out of 10 accuracy landings within a 30m radius, ...
So, as long as the weather does not let me down it all looks achievable.