Well it’s that time of year again. Time for a few brave skydivers to see if they’ve got what it takes to throw innocent young students out of perfectly good airplanes, let them go and see if they can catch them again when things go wonky. Yes it’s time for our annual Accelerated Freefall Instructors course. Despite my right hip giving me problems, don’t ask, I’ve stupidly bravely volunteered my expert services to act as the worst out of control student the candidates have ever seen. I might bitch about being subjected to repeated freefall collisions, low pulls and morons tracking away with my pilot chute, TWICE! but I keep doing it because I love it and because it’s important to keep renewing my pool of instructors. I also love it because it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Not only do I mess with the candidates in the air I get to do my best to trip them up on the ground. To do that I take on different persona’s that each have their own individual set of problems that the candidate has to overcome and still be an effective instructor, my favorite is Billy Balls. Billy Balls is a 70’s era ex-porn star turned film maker who just can’t seem to pay attention to what he’s supposed be concentrating on when women are around. He’s constantly hitting on the women and trying to get them to star in his next movie. In the plane when the candidates are trying to get him to go over what he’s supposed to do on the next skydive he instead will turn around and caress the thigh of the jumper behind him and ask them “Do you want to be a star?” Good fun. At the door I do things like wave to the camera or other jumpers, adjust my goggles or try and ask a question while hanging halfway out of the plane, them of course I just let go and curl up in a ball trying to flip over on the exit. If the candidates can somehow manage to get me stable they’re supposed to let me go at which time I flip over on my back and begin spinning uncontrollably. The candidate’s job is to catch me, flip me over and pull my simulated ripcord before passing through the 3500 foot hard deck. It does make for some interesting jumps, stay tuned.