|What kind of a school lets a kitten skydive?!|
|At least he's not this crazy.|
I studied the list of things I’m supposed to do while Ego mentions all the things that can kill me. He also told me that jumping is “sensory overload” and that I might blank out and forget everything. I was looking forward to it.
|All he said to me was: "Oh no, not again."|
Oh, yeah, there’s a video. I was going to wait to post it until tomorrow, but that would have been mean:
You take off with the door open, only closing it for a short time. I kept my helmet on because Ficus told me we couldn’t jump if it rolled out the door. It’s pretty damned cool to fly without a door, but was disappointed I missed watching liftoff (Zack had to tell me). Later they took my helmet off to put on an earpiecefor radio commands. They showed me two small reservoirs that are long and pointy. They call them the “dick pools” and told me they point toward the drop zone. I wonder what they would call them if I was a woman. “Tampon pools?”
When it was time to go, Ego says “You ready to skydive?” I didn't even think about my answer.
Hanging on the side of the plane was amazingly loud. You know that sound when they seat you by the wing of an airplane and it takes off? Imagine that on both sides. The wind comes through your helmet and into your ears in a deafening roar.
|Not at all like this, but my arms are as muscly.|
|One of these means: never skydive again.|
Ficus told me to look at the altimeter and I said “Oh, crap, six thousand feet.” You have to pull at 5500. Ficus immediately gave me the pull sign. “Oh, crap!” I said. “Pull now?” I reached for my chute and then realize I forgot to do the “wave off” sign. I waved them off, which Ego later told me was “cute,” and grabbed for my chute.
|"New Game! NEW GAME!"|
At this point in the video, Zack shows the instructors deploying their chutes. They dropped 2500 feet more than me and then landed with “sport parachutes” and landed something like twenty minutes before me.
|Not that much blood.|
Finally the radio kicked in. Ego told me to go through the test motions again and what direction to go. Every now and then, the radio crackled to life with: “Turn left. Stay on that heading” or somesuch. It seemed to take a long time to get down because I was in the beginners chute; it’s like having a hot air balloon instead of a parachute.
|Wow, now I'm REALLY Lost.|
Near the ground Ego tells me to flare. I lifted up my feet, not wanting to break my leg, and landed on my ass. Ow. I guess I should have tried running. I slowly stood up and wrapped up the chute the way I was taught. It was hard to carry the thing as the straps kept getting caught on my feet. It seemed sad that nobody came out to help, but there were other people landing, so I walked back to the hangar alone.
I asked how I did and Ego told me that all I needed to do was pull the chute. Really? What was the point of all the training? I’m given a certificate, which I immediately spilled water on. Ego then told me about the one fatality they had (some guy didn’t pull his reserve until he was almost to the ground), and compares it to the fourteen traffic fatalities on the nearby road.
My colleague with the broken foot asks if I’ll do it again and I say “no,” realizing as I said it that I meant it.
This entry is already too long. I’ll give you my reasons tomorrow.