Posts for Tag: flying

Learning to sit-fly

Free flying is hard work, i'll tell you that. It's always very easy to watch guys like the Skywalkers, Omar Alhegelan, Tim Porter, and other skydiving idols and think: "hey, i could do that". But what we tend to forget is that, like most things in life that are worth doing, it takes time, dedication, and a lot of hard work to make them look easy.

Last weekend at the DZ me and my pal "totaly" tried a couple of exits in a sitting grip and the result, though undisputedly hilarious, was not what i was expecting. I feel i'm getting a lot better at sit flying, but when it comes to grips, man, do i need to practice.

Enjoy the video, we know we did love creating it, hehe!

Blue skies! ;)

Évora - 2010-12-19 from Pedro Assunção on Vimeo.

Good news for helicopter pilots

NASA is investigating how to use Kevlar to soften helicopter crashes. If you consider that, since 2001, the accident rate for civilian helicopter use per 100.000 flight hours has been 40% higher than for general aviation fixed wing aircraft (1), then I hope this will eventually help mitigate some of the fatalities in those crashes. Especially because I plan to skydive from some in the future :)

(1) NTSB Aviation Accident Statistics

One weekend, one jump, totally worth it

I woke up today at around 9 am and proceeded to call my buddy Ricardo to see if he had talked to our big master Mario Pardo about the DZ's weather forecast for today. He had. Mario told him that the clouds were ok and, although there was a bit of wind, we should go there.

In half an hour I was on my motorbike on my way to my friend's place. We took his car and drove the 1 hour trip to the DZ while imagining the stuff we would do in the air. But when we got there the wind was just too much. 21 knots average (we can only jump with max 15-17). Since there were some tandems to be done, we missed the first flight due to the wind, though the sky was beautiful; Two layers of well stroke - massive - clouds with the sun rays shining through them. Absolutely gorgeous.

During that first flight we helped the tandems to land (high winds are tricky, and require someone on the ground ready to pull the brakes chords all the way until the canopy collapses, preventing the tandem instructor and the other guy from getting dragged backwards on their asses :)). It was really interesting watching the most experienced skydivers land in those conditions and one can learn a lot from it.

Then the wind started to slow down, and we got to go on the second (and last, unfortunately) jump. We planned to go out already docked to each other, eventually let go after getting stable, and re docking. Suffice to say that people that jump together for the first time have no clue what they are doing and it was really interesting what really happened.

We left the airplane together, as planed, and did not let go. The main problem was that we spent around 10 seconds fighting to get stable. When we eventually did, we noticed that Ricardo falls faster than me which means that I was always higher than he was. When we managed to get on the same level (I had to retract both my arms and legs a lot, and he compensated by spreading them a bit) we were ready to undock. As soon as we did we went apart really fast and spent the rest of the flight trying to compensate in both vertical alignment and proximity until the audible alarm went off at 5000 feet. We turned away and tracked until deployment altitude.

The landing, even if in high wind, went pretty smooth which made me more confident in my canopy landing skills once again :D

All in all, it was totally worth it to wait the entire weekend for one single jump. I guess that's how you know when you are addicted to a sport: when you are willing to travel 240km two days in a row just to enjoy 1 minute of it.

Blue skies