Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Skydiving Duck: Far to Go

 I was supposed to do a student solo, but the clouds came in.  Weather hold.
Then the sky got bluer, and my flight was back on.  I was the first one to the loading area... 
 ... but it was still  too cloudy for students. We had to wait.
(It didn't bother me too much.  I liked the idea that they were interested in our safety.)

Eventually the weather cleared enough for us students to join the pros.  It was still cold, and I was glad I had several layers of clothes under the jumpsuit.

The plane took off.  Then it was my turn to leave.  When I peeked out the door, I noticed the drop zone was slightly  further away than usual, but thought, well, the green light's on, people jumped before me, people are waiting to jump after me, so out I go!
It was cold.  My clothes kept my body warm, but my face nearly froze off.
Then came pull time.

 After the controllability check, I noticed I was still somewhat south of the drop zone.   I headed toward it.  Would I make it back? 
3000 feet above ground level:
I was closer, but keeping an eye for alternate landing areas...
2000 feet:
Almost there, almost there...
1200 feet:
Okay, I was over the drop zone now, but still a bit south of the student landing area.  Since I was facing the wind, I wanted to keep going straight.  That way I'd land at the far end of the student landing area-
-but a few jumps earlier I'd gotten in trouble for not doing the landing pattern properly.  I did not want to be the dummy that did that again.   
Gotta do the landing pattern, I thought.
1000 feet:
Okay, turn for the downwind, okay, wait for 600 feet before crosswind- dang, I was getting kinda close to the "real" landing area for people with more experience.  By the crosswind leg I was over it.  Okay, I was looking out for other jumpers, but still...
Uh oh,  I thought. I'll bet I hear a few words about this escapade.  I hope they don't kick me off the D.Z..
I turned for the final approach and landed standing up.  I 'd have been proud if I wasn't so close to the wrong landing area.
Sure enough, the latter was (politely) pointed out to me.  When I explained how I ended up that way I was told in this case I would have been better off following my original plan (skipping the pattern and continuing straight to the far end of the student area, as there was less traffic), or perhaps going crosswind and downwind a bit higher than usual to keep me from straying where I wasn't supposed to be.  Made sense to me. 
Nevertheless, my inner critic was steamed...
....but I wasn't.  I'd learned one more thing not to do, and had managed to learn it without getting hurt or trashing the place.  That was good!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent, as usual. Ask your instructors, if you haven't already, about flying in brakes when returning from a long spot. Also make sure your toggles aren't invisible ;)

Linda Davick said...

Nevertheless, my inner critic was steamed...but I wasn't. I'd learned one more thing not to do, and had managed to learn it without getting hurt or trashing the place. That was good!

(I love this.)

Namowal said...

Anon,
Will do.
p.s. Yep. You caught the toggle blooper. The funny thing is I spent a lot of time on that drawing to get the perspective and details right- then I forgot to draw the steering lines. D'oh! :)

Linda,
Thanks!

LeanderRandom said...

I love it! Even though I've never seen you make so many mistakes in the drawings (gear keeps changing, invisible brakelines.)

I don't really see the problem in the landing. It's a bit off, yes, but every landing you make without injuries, is a good one. Especially when you make 'em standing up ;) good job!

Namowal said...

Leander,
I (somewhat belatedly) catch little mistakes (and continuity errors) all the time. Sometimes I simplify the gear details for the sake of the cartoon. Other times I make goofs that I don't notice until much later.

As for my landing, part of me thought "I shouldn't have landed here and that's bad," a small part of me thought "So that's what it's like to land in the main landing area."

errandom said...

Ahh, I don't mind the stealt steering lines ;)

I love them and I'm already looking forward to the next one.
Keep up the good work!

Scuba diving gear packages said...

Quality post!!! it is a nicely written post with so many interesting facts ! thank you for sharing it with us !