The two most terrifying experiences I have had under a parachute in my 20 years (and over 10,000 jumps) has been while ground launching. The only time I have ever been up in the sky wishing I was on the ground (but couldn't) was after a ground launch. Its a humbling experience to be out of control in high turbulent air with no reserve. Can’t penetrate the wind and your gaining altitude fast in the rising (heated) air. Then of course there was the fateful day of Feb 12, 2006 in which me and Duane got into a canopy collision in front of our entire class of students on the last day of a training camp. While filming a stunt we had done several times before we simply flew too close to each other (among other things) and got into an entanglement. I take full responsibility for the accident as I put Duane in a bad position. He was only following my instructions....”wear my camera helmet with wide angle lens and fly as close as possible!”
After two hours laying in a field bleeding out with a shattered hip, a broken femur, broken shoulder, bleeding in the brain, then having the first helicopter show up only to wait for a bigger one, then a 30 minute helicopter ride, two major surgeries and three days in a coma I woke up in a drug induced haze at the hospital to see Duane lying next to me with his jaw wired shut. Come to find out I was the lucky one because I got knocked out on impact. I hit my head so hard that it knocked me out and into a coma for three days. By the time I woke up everything was over including the surgery. I remember lying in the hospital bed trying to think about the details leading up to the crash but a frontal lobe injury of the brain clouded my memory. It was only later that I realized my mistakes including being too anxious, too eager, too excited, too complacent and too much of a big hurry. It all happened so quick....so quick.
ya, i guess you can't just show up and attend a skydive boogie without certification either. how does one go about getting cleared, if they haven't taken your school but have documented, experience? (video)
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