Tandem a-gO-gO

slaDE has happily found a dropzone to work at for the summer. His goal, first and foremost, teach people how to fly, and secondly, earn some money throwing drogues. Layman speak: taking people for a tandem skydive. With the Sigma Tandem System that Skydive Toronto uses, slaDE must maintain a certain currency since his previous jump, all within a set time period set by Strong Parachute System.

A. If any currently rated Tandem Instructor has not made a Tandem jump in the preceding 90 days, he must make one Tandem jump with an experienced jumper acting as a student before taking a student student. The experienced jumper/ student must first be briefed on how to respond to Tandem emergencies.

That’s where I fit in! For slaDE to become recurrent, it was time for me to make another tandem jump with him. I’ve been a passenger on about 20 different occasions, as an experienced jumper, filling the ‘student’ role for either a learning tandem master or for means of recurrency. Let me tell you, it never becomes fully easy and comfortable, that relinquishing of control. You see, I have over 1400 skydives, and on all solo jumps, I have pulled my parachute each and every time, saving my own life. However, with tandems, that’s another story. More often than not, there have been ‘chicken handles’ for me to access in case I needed to perform any of the deployment or emergency functions. However, in the previous 2 times that I have jumped with slaDE, there were no such handles, apart from the main tandem canopy deployment ‘golf ball’. Gulp! 🙂 Although nervous and out of my comfort zone, I’m good with that option and choice. I have complete trust in slaDE and his abilities to land us safely on the ground.

Today was no different … the skies were a startling clear blue colour and the temperatures were invitingly warm. With the opportunity to skydive from the Cessna 182, I felt right at home, enjoying the ride to altitude as we circled a 4 square mile area around the urban airport. Our dive out of the airplane was poised and perfect. The canopy ride, stealthy (I love the Icarus canopy!) and the landing, perfection. Another jump lived, loved and shared with my husband. What a beautiful day!

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One Comment

  1. Interesting. You share a similar feeling as most skydivers I’ve heard speak of their experienced/student tandem student jumps. Yet, myself – having done close to 25 tandems now- 12 of which were before I started pulling to save myself- skydiving myself- I’ve always felt completely peaceful as soon as I exit the plane, no different then if I jumped myself. Only thing I like about jumping myself is that I am not limited by rules by someone else as to some of the things I like to do during a skydive (as a tandem student I’m not able to do many of the things I can do while skydiving solo). Perhaps this way I think & feel is an anomaly?

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