|2006/06/27 Tandem Jump in Lodi|
π 2006-06-27 13:59 by Merlin in Flying
Well, since my local flight club had a fly in event to a drop zone, I decided to give it a shot, and flew to Lodi (1O3) with Jen to do tandem jumps out of a perectly good plane.
The flight to Lodi was somewhat interesting leaving out of Palo Alto as the ceilings were quite low (about 500 feet or less in some places) over the bay, but luckily, it cleared up when I reached Fremont. The rest of the flight was smooth sailing...
The tandem jump was easy, the jumpmaster does all the work for you, and just takes you along for the ride. His rig has two chutes as usual, and the backup chute is linked to an altimeter that auto-deploys it should he fall unconscious or be unable to deploy it himself.
Of course, those are the new sport chutes, not the round one like the army used ages ago. So, you have an airfoil that you can steer, and you can even flare at ground level so that if you're good, you can stop the decent and just put your feet down with no problems.
I brought my wrist garmin forerunner GPS for the ride, and got some nice graphs out of it, when plugged into Google Earth (the first color is the plane ride, and the second one is the end of the plane ride, the jump, and rest of the way down after the parachute has deployed).
Interestingly enough, despite severe agrophobia, I was not really afraid. It's just good that I didn't have to stay on the edge of the plane, and decide to jump myself: the jumpmaster did that for me :)
On the way down, the wind in your face is pretty extreme (well duh!, I guess, but still), and once the shute is deployed, you can steer pretty easily, and do loops (which are basically steep turns)
Kudos go to the cameraman/photographer that jumped with us, and did an amazing job of capturing the entire thing while freefalling himself.
In a nutshell, good time was had by all :)
I then got back to PAO just in time for a lesson in a 177RG :)
Here are the rest of the pictures of my first jump in Lodi , and don't miss the nicer and bigger Google Earth pictures at the end of the gallery
You can also download the garmin gps track of the jump , or the Google Earth kml equivalent (I used google earth linux and the kml was generated with gpsbabel. No windows were harmed in the making of those shots thanks to help from google :)