TOPGUN For Skydivers



      We just finished hosting an Accelerated Free Fall instructors course at  my dropzone Skydive Twin Cities and boy am I sore!  Candidates trying to get their ratings are required to go through an intense week long program that tests their teaching ability’s along with their free fall skills.  To prove they have what it takes to supervise real skydiving students the candidates go up alone or as a pair with an experienced evaluator, me the one in green and white, who plays the part of the worst student imaginable. We give them crappy unstable exits, spin uncontrollably on our belly or backs and of course never ever remember to pull.  The candidates must be able to catch us, flip us over, give us the correct hand signals to fix our body position and then pull our ripcord on time, all while falling at speeds of up to one hundred fifty miles an hour.  As an evaluator I’ve had students accidentally pull my pilot chute and track off with it still in his hand twice, been hit so hard I saw stars and came down with a bloody nose and had to kick candidates off me to get away when we got too low.  It’s very exciting.  We graduated eight instructors from the course and will soon turn them lose on real students and hope we didn’t make a mistake.  In the mean time I’m going to go soak in the hot tub, did I mention I’m sore?

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