hump day jumps

Ahh, a great time as come and past, for me at least. All summer I’m able to enjoy spending Monday and Wednesday nights at the dropzone, but with the kids returning to school after Labor Day, my summer fun is winding down to an end. This was probably be the last weekday at the DZ, but a great one for sure. Actually, this was the definition of a good Wednesday at the DZ. Going up the drive, turning the last corner and seeing dozens people milling about, I knew the Otter would be turning loads. I quickly parked and within moments Jon was asking if I was able to do a coaching jump as he was busy with AFF student, and well.. this student needed someone that could fall slow. Real slow. Really, really slow. I mean.. okay, you get the point I think.

I’ve got pretty good range with my own jumpsuit, but with all the warnings I was receiving, I thought I’d better grab one of the bigger spare suits in the back. I ended up with giant blue and yellow balloon suit that I could have fit into twice! I was able to do two jumps with the student. The first, I went out poised with her diving behind me. As I released and glided down the hill, I recall wondering if she had let go of the plane yet, she had, but was.. well a bit floaty! I de-arched and “hugged the beachball” as quickly as I could, but to no avail – I was able to keep myself from falling any lower, but couldn’t get back up! I had to turn my head sideways and watch her do her turns from 20 feet below!

The second jump I knew what to expect. I had her go out poised and dove out two seconds behind her and instantly de-arched and then let myself slowly sink to her level. This went much better and I was able to stay on level and watch the dive. The student herself did very well on both jumps, I was easily able to check of her objectives. Unfortunately, she’s had a hard time going through the progression as many of our Instructors and Coaches have had a hard time falling slowly with her.

Anyhow, the definition of good hump day at the dropzone? Being there to help out the anxious students.. the ones that can’t wait until the weekend. Getting more instruction myself from the current Instructors – my Coaches from years past! And ending the night down at Muk’s – 1/2 burrito, hot, sour cream & hot pepper on the side and a tall Labatt – that will be missed as much til next season as the jumps!

So, a perfect day? Almost. The gopro has starting acting up on me a little bit. Each jump the camera didn’t turn on until I thought I was turning it off – two long clips of me flying the canopy (in a huge balloon suit), so every will have to wait until the next post to get their video fix!

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