I’m a paratrooper! Hehe, well not really. Just did my first jump today though! My and my buddy Rob B. went out to Steinbach (yeah we made the Trip…) yesterday to do it, went through all the training, then found out that we have like 50mph winds that would just carry us away. So we had to go back today.
As we were putting on the jump suits the realization that I could actually die today was exhilerating. Then I just got hot. Those suits are made for people who get cold way up there. Bastards! I wanna jump in my shorts and T-Shirts – I totally could have handled that. Get all strapped in by the cute jump girl. Wait around for the plane to get back. Finally, the call. The jumpmaster checks all of our gear, and we prepare to board the plane.
Once in the plane, the jumpmaster (Rob something else) goes through all the final checks with the pilot. “Camera’s HOT! Everyone lean forward for take off!”
We start driving down the runway, and we’re off! Now the anticipation is even greater (partially cause I’m hot and bent over uncomfortably…man I wanna jump out!!!!)
Jump master takes us up to 4500ft. Looks at me “Are you ready?”
“Are you scared?”
“NO! Not yet!”
“OK…” – opens the door
“How about now???”
“OK! GET OUT!”
Hands on the door according to our training. I can feel the wind rushing against me at 80 mph. It just wants to rip me out, I can feel it. Right foot goes down to the step/landing gear. Left hand on the A-beam of the wing. Right hand down beside it. Now the wind is REALLY fucking with me. Quickly I get my other foot down and start to shimmy to the end of the bar where I take my last step, and am not hanging from the wing of the aircraft.
Jumpmaster says something I couldn’t make out – but I look at the camera and mouth the words “Hi mom!” (I’m sure I was speaking, but I couldn’t hear anything….) look back at jumpmaster – He says “LOOK UP!”
I look up, see the red dot, and let go!
Only moments of freefall and I feel my chut getting pulled out. I can’t remember if I was actually counting or not, but my training was in total control – I did my blurp (air pocket) check, left, right, check that the chut is out, fully inflated, not twisted (totally ready to cut and go with the backup) but to my suprise everything was OK. Yes, I actually expected everything to go wrong, and I still went up. They told us that 90% of chut accidents are caused by the human not doing what they’re supposed to, not the equipment.
The Radio crackles “Jumper 1, when ready do flight check”
I look up and find the two toggles which control the flight of the chut. Grab them and give both a real good pull, to their full extension.
The WHOOSHING stops, and I’m just hanging there….almost still.
Now that the chut is prepped I can let the toggles go back up to their full extension which will allow me to get my speed up. Now I’m going fast.
“Jumper 1, do a 360 turn left.”
I grab the left toggle, and pull it all the way. Fucking hell, I’m spinning almost horizontally – these things manuver FAST! I can feel the centripetal force pulling me in, and all my blood going to my feet.
“OK good. Now 90 right”.
Did that one a little slower, nice – it’s actually pretty accurate. As soon as you let go from a spin, you stop. Immediatly.
“Alright, now I want you to do 2 360’s right!”
That second 360 was sooooo much fun! It took about half as long as the first one to complete.
Now I’m coming in for a landing. I see what they mean by “Ground rush”. It looks like the ground is coming up really fast, and if you panic, you can flare too early. Looked at the horizon, knees together, and PULL!
Pull both toggles and I come almost to a complete stop, land running (almost stumble) and gather up the chut. Perfect landing.
Now I wanna go again. Video will be up as soon as I figure out how to get VHS onto my computer.
I have a free jump now to…Yay!
Who wants to go?