I had a very eventful day last Saturday, it started off with my celebration jump for my B license.
We did a 7 way that went to hell, was someone’s 100th jump and the idea was that we would do a hybrid (some belly fliers, some free fliers).
The plan was that we’d have a 4 person base (I was in the base).
With 2 people hanging onto us and one stinger (He was on camera filming and would randomly hook on and off in freefly)
Our exit was fairly unstable and I ended up separated from everyone, I was falling way too slow to be able to keep up no matter how hard I tried, I failed miserably… If I had a camera, I would’ve had the best view of this jump though, I was just above everyone and saw everything… Was laughing the whole time… I found it funny to watch one of the hangers fall on someone 😛
For the 2nd jump, we did a 4way hybrid, well.. attempted to, again, with the guy who was 100 lbs heavier than me, but this time with a girl who was 80 lbs lighter than I am…
Needless to say, she and I couldn’t keep up =P
I gave up on trying to keep up with the other guy (I need to practice my speed flying before I try that again)
For the 3rd jump, I participated in someone’s 900th. It was a 9 way belly fly.
We were supposed to exit the plane on red and jump on green, I dunno why, but we were already falling on red…
The jump was fairly well planned, but someone had a brain fart and ended up below us. We had a few issues and ended up zooing the jump, but was fun.
That is… Until we all tracked away and I pulled my pilot chute…
My canopy opened… To reveal:
It was off center a bit to the right, I was spinning but managed to control it.
Decided to try to land it.
Most of us didn’t make it back, with normal openings… With the fact that I lost about 1500 feet of altitude spinning and was flying a crippled canopy, I’m sure you know I wasn’t one of the people who did…
I landed just off a pumpkin patch in some soft dirt.
I had about a km and a half (1 mile) to walk back to the DZ.
Wasn’t so bad except for the fact that I was walking through a farmer’s field with my canopy.
After having gotten back to the DZ, I got an earful from one of the packers…
She doesn’t like me to begin with, and I think on top of that, she was the one who had packed the rig. She didn’t believe that I had a malfunction and was probably having a bad day to begin with.
So come the end of the day, there are still some tandems that hadn’t jumped, the sun’s setting, they go up for 2 quick loads while we bring in some cars to light up the landing area.
It was still somewhat light out so they didn’t need more than 2-3 cars to light the area.
For our jump, we had set up about 20…
There was no moon out, the sky was dark, the only light we had was the lights of the city (let me tell you, it’s beautiful up there).
We had 10 cars on each side of the landing area set up at an angle so we wouldn’t get any light in our eyes.
It was set up in two passes (a pass is when the plane flies over where we’re supposed to jump out, when there’s two passes, half the people jump out the 1st time, we close the door, fly around for about 5 minutes, then pass again)
The jump was organized in a way so that the more experienced jumpers got out first, and the least got out last. There was very little wind that day, so we only needed about 15 seconds of delay between each jumper.
Each of us had a designated altitude to open at, the 1st at 3500 feet, 2nd at 4000, 3rd 4500, etc… All the way up to 7000 feet on each pass.
I decided that after the day I had, I just wanted to belly fly and take in the view…
At that moment, falling at 120 mph, looking at the city lights from 4 km in the sky, I can honestly say that it was probably the most romantic thing I’ve ever done for myself and I loved my self that much more for giving myself that experience… (Yes, I’m romantically linked to myself and there’s no one I love more than me =P)
I haven’t had the opportunity to jump since, but I’ll keep you guys posted on my progress.
I may end up going to Niagara Falls next weekend, if I do, I’ll be jumping there for sure.
In the meantime: Blue ones!