After a week of rain, today ending up being great! Blue Skies all over! Anyhow, got to the drop zone and met up with a new coach today, Steve. Working with him went pretty good, I pretty much called out what I planned on doing on the jump and he was just like “wow, okay, we’ll just go with your plan” and that’s what we did. I did a ‘front floater’ exit and he had given a few tips and I pulled it off great, no barrel rolls this time! The jump went pretty well, we finished off the 3rd tracking run I missed on my last jump (because of the rain!) then we did the 2 forward movement to dock, (my first time docking on someone!). I did three attempts to dock, but only successfully did two, on the first one I moved forward but slowly (was too arched) and then reached out unevenly and barrel rolled (had to get at least one on the jump!). But then next two went well.
Another thing I had to do for the jump was initiate the break off at the proper altitude, I almost missed it (4500) but at a 4250 I check the alt, pulled a 180 and tracked out. He had told me I should look between my legs as I tracked away but it slipped my mind at that moment. Stopped the track and pulled at 3700 and was under full canopy by 2800. Would have been faster but I had some minor line twist and my slider was stuck up a bit, nothing to big. That being my lowest opening, I was really kind of surprised by the ‘size’ of the ground when I first looked down… with the low opening (low for me) I pretty much killed about half of my canopy time. Still had enough to pull off two 90 degree front riser turns though… few more marks off my A card…
And, a great standup landing just 15m off target to finish the jump.
Second jump of the day, always nice to get at least two in. We decided to change up the exit this time as Steve (my coach) wasn’t able to see my count very well on the first jump so we did a diving exit this time. As always, even with this exit I tend to either barrel roll or flip, but Steve had told me on the ground that all I had to do was lead with my left foot, and it would put me in a more naturally stable position; and it did! Two great exits today!
This jump was a little bit trickier, same idea as before, motion to dock, but this time I had to go up and down, rather than back and forth. The idea is simply, the more you arch the faster (and more stable) you fall (and move down, relatively), if you de-arch, you slow down (move up, relatively). After we got those done (with only one near miss, when I almost moved down on top of him and he had to dive further out from under me!) and tried to do a “swoop and dock” which is basically the combination of the last two ‘movements’ I’ve done. Steve moved out to about 40 feet away from me, and 20 feet below me, so I had to move diagonally down to dock onto him. I finally (hey, its hard) got almost to him but couldn’t close the distance and checked alt, 4100 feet, so I stopped trying to dock, turned a 180 and tracked off. I think I tracked a little longer than I should have this time (I.m thinking 6 or 7 seconds instead of 3 or 4) because by the time I stopped, pulled, and was under canopy, I was at about 1800 feet! I really need to start watching my low end alt better (or buy a dytter) because at 1800 feet I.d only have about 9 seconds till impact if I had a malfunction… not much time to respond if something happened!
My landing was a little off… i had tried to get in some 180 degree front riser turns, but i was still aways off the airport and being so low i was more worried about getting back. To make it at all, I did an alternative (cross-runway) landing approach and came down… i saw i was gonna over shoot, so i went half-brakes all the way in and still went 40m past.. All the way to the back of the landing area… oh well. But it was a perfect half-braked stand-up landing, so I was still happy…