>And then there's this other friend of mine and tim's, who on her first real
>Rip-cord pull, didn't look, reached, got ready to pull, looked, and...oops.
>looks like a cut-away handle...oh damn.. IS a cut-away handle.. look again,
>grab Ripcord, pull belly up:)
I had a similar experience making student jumps on good ol' modified
T-10s and bellywarts. I was feeling real***y on my second DRCP (before
PRCP became fashionable we called it a Dummy Pull). Anyway, I launched
myself and did my ARCH-THOUSAND!, LOOK-THOUSAND!, REACH-THOUSAND!, PULL-
THOUSAND! The problem is, I shouted 'look-thousand' and cranked my
head down -- went through the motions perfectly -- only I didn't really
look. I grabbed the handle and on 'pull-thousand' I flexed my arm to
jerk that sucker into the next county. A little alarm went off in my
mind and I checked myself, though, and when I *really* looked I discovered
I was about to deploy my front-mount reserve right into my face and
around me into my main, which by that time was at line stretch and
maybe starting to inflate. YOWZA! I let go like I'd just grabbed
a branding iron, then went ahead and tore the practice handle right
out of the velcro (sort of had a little adrenalin boost, I guess).
Needless to say, I was feeling rather shitty about the whole thing.
My jumpmaster saw it all, of course, and said I scared the daylight
out of him. I was ready for a verbal mauling, but he just said,
"You learned something, didn't you? Like, why you *look* at the
handle. I've heard of people going in and they find 'em with
their fingers locked around a D-ring -- they pulled on that son
of a *** for 3000 feet and never once even *looked* to see
what the problem was. You *look* at the handle. You *look*
before you pull -- got it?" I still remember that conversation.
He even praised me for having the presence of mind to realize
my mistake and then go for the real handle. It made a real
impression on me -- since then I've never pulled a ripcord or
thrown out a pilot chute without looking first.
| Karl Maerz | Tektronix, Inc. | |
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