My First Skydiving Experiences

My first two skydiving experiences were freaky yet awesome. I started out in AFF (Accelerated Freefall); it was also my first time up in a plane. I did pretty well/average for PRCT’s and everything, but my landing was where I had the problem. My jumpmaster(JM) had been talking to me most of the way down after I pulled the ripcord (there was a radio in the helmet). But about 750 feet from the ground he stopped talking and I freaked out. I landed across the runway, across the street, over some trees (I had to lift my feet to avoid them), and in somebody’s back yard, no where near the drop zone. It was so cool.

My second jump, about three weeks later, was a little more complicated. I jumped out at 14’000ft rather than 10’000ft this time. When I jumped I managed to make only two ninety degree turns, even though I had 60 seconds of freefall. The average jumper turns six or seven times for that much time. Anyway, when I pulled my ripcord, I blanked out. I was conscious, because I put my ripcord down my suit to save it and I sat up in the parachute. But I don’t remember any of what happened. Later my JM said that it was about 45 seconds until I came to. When I did come to, the wind had blown me far away from the drop zone, so far I couldn’t even find it at 2’000ft. My JM was yelling into the radio to give him a sign that I was aware of him. I flared my toggles and spun around once. A much-relieved JM told me that I was going over a hill and he wouldn’t see me after that so I should find an open area to land in. I landed in a field of moo-ing cows, luckily avoided any cow patty’s. I had to hop three fences and crawl under another one to get out of the field. Then I had to walk down a long driveway with a Great Dane following me, growling the whole way.

Later after I relayed my experience to my JM, he said that he couldn’t let me jump again without a note from my doctor. My JM thought I had hypoxy but I found out that my Vegas Nerve (it’s a nerve in the brain) had been overstimulated because I was way to excited. Well, I’ve got my note and I am axiously waiting for the rain to stop so I can get my certfication. By the way, I’ve got my doctor’s note safely framed on the wall, next to my first jump certificate.

First jumped at Skydive Oregon in Molalla, Oregon on June 19, 1997

PS, In Skydiving, the sky isn’t the limit, the ground is.

Submitted by Carina Wood

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