Skydiving: how to hang out in the sky

 


The skydiving season trickled to a start this year.  Unlike other skydivers, I jump with some regularity through the winter, so for me it was a slow start to the season with sporadic jumping in March and April.

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Back flip out of the plane

Dropzones start Safety Days in May, which often marks the beginning of another season.

Safety days are an opportunity for all experienced jumpers (or fun jumpers) to run through safety procedures and discuss best practises for dealing with malfunctions. They tend to have a scare factor that helps remind us skydivers to not become complacent or over confident.  Although skydiving statistically is extremely safe, it is a good reminder of the inherent risk of what we do.

The beginning of another season makes me reflect on my involvement in skydiving. It is nearly 3 years since my first tandem and 2.5 years since I took my first jump course.

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Landing

This sport has scooped me up and intertwined itself in my life.  Many people I now consider close friends come from skydiving. The sense of community is just as important to me as the skydiving itself.

I am starting to get this sit fly thing nailed down too! Although sit flying is relatively easy to learn, it is incredibly hard to get good at.  Sit flying is a type of free flying, which means you fall vertically through the air, as opposed to on your belly. The discipline gained in popularity and seems to be the natural progression for most skydivers to learn. Although lots of skydive continue with relative work or formation skydive and never learn to free fly.

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Sit fly

One difficulty is that many people who sit fly learn to do it in a wind tunnel. This allows them to learn faster in a controlled environment.  As I have a horse and other expenses, it never made sense for me to fly in a wind tunnel too.  The mentality to learn in the wind tunnel can be discouraging, but a few “old timers” have encouraged me to continue pushing to learn in the sky. Although my progress might be a bit slower, I am excited to finally have a solid sit fly.

I am pretty pump to see what this season has in store!


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