Well over a hundred rusty skydivers gathered at Skydive Snohomish yesterday for a refresher after the long winter. USPA (US Parachute Association) promotes this event at Drop Zones across the country, to be held in March when the season begins in many places in the country.
The Drop Zone had a potluck for breakfast, as well as provided free pizza at lunch and a big dinner at the end. I didn't stay for the dinner, since I had a long drive back home afterwards, but it was a very valuable day for us all. We shook off the rust by attending five seminars that covered equipment, aircraft safety, emergency procedures, canopy control, and the skydive itself.
One of the pilots, Dieter, is in actuality a rocket scientist, as he never fails to remind us when he gives his seminar on aircraft safety. He reminded us here that we are never supposed to jump through clouds, and why. He's an interesting guy, and every year I learn something from him that I had forgotten.
Jonathan getting ready for a malfunction
We each took a turn at hanging in a harness and pretending to have a malfunction and pull our handles, to remind us how to do it safely. My heart was pounding just thinking about it and simulating the event. It's an important thing to do at least once a year.
Kevin, Linny, me, Dave, Christy
Many of my jumping buddies were there as well, and we were glad to have the opportunity to dust off some of the rust and look forward to the season together. I would be going out there today, but the weather is not so fine, so I'll be waiting to see what the upcoming weekends have in store for us!