Klemdog "the first time but not the last"
My first time was when I lived in England. We went through the classes and practiced landing by jumping off a short ladder.
Then it was time we all loaded into the plane and went up, I was more worried about my two friends they were both looking quite white. Once we got too altitude the door went flying open then it became real. This was going to happen. We were almost all newbies on the plane so most were doing static jumps so as soon as you left the plane your chute was pulled.
Once in the air it was very calm, we had round chutes but they were steerable to a degree. I wanted to yell to my friends to make sure they were ok but I couldn't I was to busy taking it in, the knowledge that I just jumped out of a perfectly good airplane was a rush. It was also very cool to see the England countryside floating back down to earth.
As soon as I landed my first thought was how quickly can my instructor help me pack my chute so I can do it again, that was on a Saturday. We had to do 5 static jumps before they would let us free jump. On Sunday I was coming down on my forth jump when I landed on abit of a side hill and blew my knee....I never was able to free jump. When I got back to the states I had to have knee surgery and I have never gone back up. It is something I may have to do to finish something I started over 15 years ago. Thanks Maria for the question it brings backs some very fond memories.
Comment from Accel;
Great story Klemdog! Things have changed in England now and there are no round parachutes left in use at any UK dropzone. Tandem is everywhere and so is Ram Air Progression System (RAPS = static line square).
I know what you mean about knees and we do take them for granted until something goes wrong with them. I've had knee surgery twice; once for a Rugby injury and once for a running inury while training for the London marathon (yes, completed it). Tandem could be perfect to do your next skydive, and you could let the tandem instructr take the strain.
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