My Skydiving AFF Experience

My Skydiving AFF Experience

I am a typical Singaporean male. On my 30th birthday :birthday: this year, I wanted to get a special gift for myself. After surfing the net for 30 minutes, I got the inspiration to get skydiving :parachute: license. I want to conquer my fear of heights. It’s a unique license and good small talk topic.

I applied and paid for the AFF package without much thoughts. My service provider planned everything. I only have to show up in Dropzone Thailand, and jump.

1st jump

The 1st jump is a tandem jump. It’s a sensory overload experience :scream:. Because I don’t give much thoughts about it until the plane door opens, I look down and see “Google Earth” :earth_asia: view. Before I know it, I am out of the plane and falling back to the Earth.

The time and money (~$2k SGD) I spent in ifly (indoor skydiving facility) seems wasted. I forgot everything I learnt. Before I know it, canopy is open. I felt the sudden jerk, and the world becomes quiet. I landed back to Earth with jelly feet.

Uncontrol spin

I was spinning uncontrollably during my third C1 jump. I failed to pull my main canopy for last 2 C1. The moment I jumped out, I was blow backwards. After a few backflips I started to spin. It was so fast that my instructor wasn’t able to hold on.

While spinning, I still remember to check my altimeter. I am at about 4.8k feet, when I am suppose to pull at 5.5k feet. I know I am on my own since my instructor haven’t help me pull at this altitude. I know I am spinning too fast for my instructor to grab me. I go straight for my reserve canopy since I haven’t pull my main canopy before.

I don’t experience the “life flashes before eyes” even though I thought I am in danger. I was 100% focus on grabbing my reserve handle to save my ass.

The reserve canopy opened with line twisted :knot:. I untwist it and landed safely.

The white reserve canopy looks like a white flag. I find this very embarrassing.

I wasn’t sure if I can finish my AFF after this experience. I was inclined to drop out since I am not ready to die for this. I am already having nightmares for the past two days. My course mates are progressing well while I am stuck. But my other instructor encourage me to push through.

The mantra is AALR (Altitude, arch, legs, relax). United States Parachute Association > Experienced Skydivers > SIM > Skydive School > CAT A Mental relaxation.

Remaining jumps

After the spin incident, my subsequent jumps are smooth. Things get better after you been through the “worst”. I have a peace of mind knowing I can rely on my reserve canopy.

I am now finally able to appreciate the jumps.

Interesting experience

In total, I have five unique experience for this course.

  1. Uncontrol spin

  2. Pull reserve canopy

  3. Line twist

  4. Land in carpark

  5. Land in runway :flight_arrival:

What I gain

I think this AFF course definitely help me gain more confidence.

I am bad at relaxing, and skydiving force me to.

I also learn to surrender control. Mind over body is not always true. My mind thinks that it can beat the gravity and strong wind. But my body disagree. I was blown away like a dust when I try to fight it.