I was once an avid skydiver.There was this one time when my parachute collapsed.
After spending just six hours in a course, I was new to single parachuting.But I had been in tandem a few times and thought I was ready to get a license.
Well, single parachuting is pretty easy.You start with a static leash. It automatically pulls on your rip line as soon as you leave the aircraft.
wonderful.”Fool-proof,” I thought.
Now, even if your parachute is triggered automatically, it can open up twisted.
Stay calm, pay attention to the cords on top and wait until you “turn off” before pulling on the handles.
If you pull the handles before the parachute spins, it collapses.
yes.On the first day as a single parachute jump, my main parachute collapsed. I pulled before it was turned up.
I jumped from 3,200 feet.This is extremely high for you and me, but for skydivers it is hardly in the air.
So, here I fall from the sky like a potato sack.I can barely hear Jim screaming over the radio to “pull the reserve! DRAG THE RESERVE!!!!!”
My stomach is in my throat.Every inch of me tenses as if I’m on stage with Mr. Olympia.
I’m completely frozen.I can’t stop my body from contracting! Every muscle fiber I have is rock solid in response to falling. It was as bizarre as in a movie when the main character was frozen in fear.
It looked like the ground was coming towards me.There is NO time for free fall at 3,200 feet, at least not for a rookie.
Somehow I put a finger in the loop and pulled it with all my strength…..
The dodge shaft was extended and opened successfully.It jerked me so much that my neck hurt for a week. I had slowed down a lot, but still fell quickly.
These auxiliary churrs are not designed for manoeuvring, they have no control like the main rogues.They are only there to hopefully save your life. Backup parachutes look like the small round parachutes delivered with toy soldiers.
Now I fall to the ground, but I can hear Jim over the radio telling me to “payattention to the powerlines”!
I race directly towards the power lines near the airport. My parachute slows down my descent, but I can’t control where I’m going!
“Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!”
I bent over and waited for me to be luckily not even close.The wind was weak, it pushed me in that direction, but not far enough to ensnare me in them.
I landed about a mile from the landing zone, and I sprained both ankles because I was getting up too early.Flashing is the last second move on the handles just before landing. It stops your descent for a short time and can even lift you slightly upwards. If you do that, your parachute will also collapse, but it is intentional while you are about to land. So I fell from about 15 feet, instead of 2-3 feet.
All in all, it was absolutely horrible, but it didn’t stop me.I still jump with Jim in Elizabethtown, KY.
However, it was scarce.