Slow Day

Here in Wisconsin us frozen chosen knew summer couldn’t hide from us forever and yesterday it back all at once.  11 days ago we were on the receiving end of eighteen inches of snow and temperatures in the high twenty’s.  Yesterday the high temp was 92 F.  The return of summer means the return of skydiving season so after a short morning’s soak in the hot tub to loosen up the old muscles it was off to the drop zone.  Because it’s still early in the season we didn’t have many tandem customers on the books I was looking forward to a reasonably slow day, and that’s what I got.  Here are the high points.
Building and grounds maintenance: Transplant sod to fill in bare spots in front of the main door and hang photos.
Instruction: Re-train two students on emergency procedures in the skydiving simulator.
Flying: Hop in the 900 hp. Cessna 208 Super Caravan and fly a load of skydivers up to 14,000 feet.  The next load was only 4 jumpers so we pulled out the 5 passenger Cessna 206 which of course didn’t start.  As we were getting ready to jump start the plane with my truck the local FAA representative stopped by for a chat, great timing.  Flew the load up to 10,000 feet and descended to a nearby municipal airport for fuel because we don’t currently have any avgas at the DZ.  While re-fueling the 206 I met a pilot who was flying his Piper Arrow across the country and had made the stop in Wisconsin to visit his 100 year old grandmother.  Flew the 15 miles back to the DZ over rolling farm country staying under 500 feet seeing the deer and wild turkeys feeding in the alfalfa fields.
Video editing:  After landing edited two skydiving videos from the load I’d just flown.
Skydiving:  Took one of my tandem instructor candidates up for two training jumps.  The candidate is at the point of his training where I test his ability to regain stability after an unstable exit so I grabbed the side of the plane as we left causing us to tumble uncontrollably for 1000 feet before he got us under control.  He did better on the second jump.  While under canopy I realized that the wind had picked up and while my candidate and I still managed to land on the DZ another one of my candidates who was jumping with someone else landed almost one mile away.  Finished up the day with a six way speed star celebrating one of our jumpers 200th jump.
Wrap up:  After putting the planes to bed the jumpers brought out a case of beer and we all sat around in front of the building debriefing the days jumps and enjoying the sunset.  Like I said it was a slow day, pretty soon it’s going to get busy.

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