Learning how to turn

Jump #6

After a good jump Saturday night I was feeling real good about the jump Sunday morning. I was finally past the Cat C jump, and could move on to my Category D jumps (two jumps in this category). In this jump, I was finally down to only one instructor, which saves some money, jumps are only 150$ instead of 185$. In this jump I had to work on turning, which I really needed the help on after not being able to maintain a heading on the last two… we went over all the techniques on the ground, how to move your arms to make the turns… left arm down, turn left, right arm down turns right.. But it didn’t seem very natural to me… yet.

Once we got on the plane and were headed up to altitude I started to get a little bit nervous again… but then thought about it… after the last jump, I knew that even if I went out by myself, I could arch, get stable and pull on my own.. So what could happen? After that crossed my mind, I was a lot more relaxed… So I started thinking about my movements to do my turns… right about then I was looking out the window, and the plane banked hard to the left to turn… (Think about it) the planes left wing dropped and the plane turned left… and I was like “oh”…. it just kind of clicked. I kept watching the wings for the rest of the ride up… the plane banked right, right wing drops down, plane turns right… I just seemed to make a lot more sense to me.

Came time to get out of the plane, with only one instructor, I had to get out in the door of the plane first… and I noticed there is a lot more wind up there (plane is moving 90 mph) than before, mostly because I didn’t have the wind block (the second instructor!) already in the door in front of me! Anyhow, did my count and got out of the plane… got stable, the instructor came around in front of me. One he released me and nodded yes to start my turns, I started to drift a little to the left like on the last two jumps… but then i got the mental image in my head of the plane banking right to turn right, i banked my arms and turned 90 degrees! Arms back to level and my turn stopped! Banked left and turned back 90 degrees to face the instructor, banked left and turned left again 90 degrees and stopped with arms level. Checked my alt and I was still at 7100 feet (I was told to stop all turns at 7000 feet) so I started my last turn by (like the plane) banking my arms to the right and turned 90 degrees right to be back face to face with my instructor.. At this point, I just held the position and waited for my pull altitude, 5500 feet. My pull was great, the best one yet, hand in good position, and I felt no ‘dip’ when I went to pull, and once again THREW the pilot chute and that was it… under canopy and ready for the ride back to ground level.

Ends up the first jumper out of the plane (I was last out of ten jumpers) ‘spotted’ the plane off a little bit, so I ended up jumping a lot further from the airport than I normally do, which was okay I guess, I just couldn’t do any fun stuff 360’s, turns, flares, etc.. I just had to work up as much speed as possible to get back to the landing area. But it went fine… I think after as well as the whole jump when, I got a little relaxed about my landing, I flared a little bit late (think brakes) and hit the ground with a little bit more speed than I should have, but otherwise, it was fine.. I guess you don’t get a stand up land every time…

And now, I have to wait a WHOLE WEEK to go jump again… it will be my CAT D2 jump… so i get to exit the plane by myself.. Then instructor will be there and will jump at the same time, but not holding on to my straps at all… If the next three jumps go well, I’ll graduate the basic AFF training course on jump 9, then just need 16 more coaching/solo jumps until I’ll be able to take my class A check ride on jump 25, pass that, and I’ll be a licensed skydiver!v