#1. is where students are supposed to land. I hit the empty corn fields on either side twice. One landing was over a road to the east.
#2. is the runway. looks much bigger in this pic, it looked tiny when on it.
#3. after you are licensed you can land here.
On sat I got my first 3 static line jumps out of the way. The LSPC is out in weeping water NE at a small airport. I arrived at 8 AM to begin my training. First I filled out the paper work, then learned how to get into and out of the plane, watched some videos, practiced on a fake harness, and took a test. Most of the training was to be able to look up at your canopy and diagnose problems so you can pull the reserve if needed.
Got suited up and a pack on, it was time to get into the tiny little plane. The things are so small and 5 of us jammed in there, one being the pilot. I was to be the second one out so I was seated facing the tail behind the pilot, who was a very young man. The climb to 3,500 feet was pretty quick. The plane just made tight circles around the dropzone. My jumpmaster and trainer Lee got me into position. The door opened and the wind was pretty intense. The plane had slowed down to 80 MPH but it still seemed insane since we were so high up there. Feet out, scoot out and grab the wing strut, scoot to the end of the strut and let your feet dangle, look back at the jump master and he will tell you to go. You are supposed to say “Dot” arch back and count to six before looking at your chute, which should be open and fine. Sounds easy.
Here is what it is like. Oh crap this plane is small, I got dude parts pressed on me, dam this thing goes straight up, holy crap that is a small door. I was hardly scared till I had to get out of the plane and hang on to the wing strut with my bare hands with my feet touching nothing with 80 + MPH wind at 3,500 feet. I hesitated a good 5 seconds before I let go. I hear they will shake you loose cuz you sure as hell are not coming back in. The few seconds after letting go are intense. That plane moves away fast. I had good form and the chute opened pretty good. I had two full line twists on the canopy which I quickly fixed by pulling the lines apart and kicking my legs to spin out of it (good training). Then the slider came down and I was floating at about 3,000 feet.
Students will get communication from the ground via a radio. The guy told me to turn left, right, and do a flare to check that I could hear him. Then he said wanna have some fun? Pull down all the way on the left and hold it. The first full turn was fun, the second full turn was intense. I was almost sideways and the G forces were unbelievable, it scared the crap out of me and I bet the forces would of pulled it out of me 😉 “Go ahead and do it the other way if ya want”. I hit it hard again and then started making my way to the dropzone with his help.
I was supposed to not try and stand up when I landed. I was supposed to do a PLF (feet together rolling fall). You come in with the chute heading into the wind with the chute fully open. At 10 – 15 feet above the ground you do a fill flare and will gently land. This sounds crazy till you experience it. 10 feet above the ground, are you serious? But you are not dropping as fast as you would think and it was really easy. On my first jump I actually landed perfectly and then fell down just to make my trainer happy. Second one a bit too late, and third a little too early, none hard though. Every time in the cut corn field missing grass by a few feet.
The first two were just jumping out with the static line. The static line just pulls the pin out of the chute and is only 12 feet long. The third was a PRCP (practice ripcord procedure) I was supposed to pull a dummy ripcord while the static line was going to do the work. This involves balancing in the air as to not roll. I did not have good form and rolled right and did not accomplish it. So it was one wasted jump in the 25 I will need to get licensed. It is a long and expensive tunnel with a glorious light at the end.
I am sore. The pack is 35 pounds and strapped to you very tight. Then doing practice in it and lugging it around. The leg straps do all the work. When the chute is open it is your weight plus the force of the chute all on your crotch. I am bruised and raw down there. It was a few things, my jeans, the suit, and not having the straps tight enough. Then my shoulders from wearing the heavy pack, my arms from hanging from the plane and the toggles. I am sure it gets better once you get used to it. just like riding a bike for the first time in a while your butt needs to get used to it. I was beat after the 3 jumps. I still have 3 more jump tickets and will be headed back next weekend to continue my goal of being licensed this year.
Lee my trainer after the first jump.
Bob a friend here at work who got his 100th jump in sat.