Ian Livermore reports on Station 5’s skydiving course:
A few months back a couple of Station 5 crew started taking about Skydiving. We decided to get a group together to do a first jump course. Having skydived before, I was tasked to plan the event.
I got hold of Vernon at Durban Skydive Centre to start planning the jump. A date was set and payments were made, so there was no turning back.
Everyone arrived early at the Dropzone on Saturday 28th June 2013 to start getting through the paperwork before sitting down to lectures at 09H00.
The theory/practical instruction lasted about 6 hours and consisted of the following:-
· Introduction to the sport of skydiving
· Knowing the equipment used
· Caring for the equipment
· Aircraft drills including emergency drills inside the aircraft
· Exiting the plane and body position in freefall
· Canopy control
· Malfunction theory – Identification
· Malfunction – Reserve drills
· Safe landing under canopy
· Hazardous landings
· Revision, Test and Consolidation
Once all the course content had been covered, a practical test consisted of getting into a harness, under the supervision of an instructor, to go through the complete procedure of falling from the plane with the correct body position and count. Perform all canopy checks to determine whether the canopy will be safe enough to land. Reserve drills were also practiced (cutting away the main canopy and deploying the reserve)
Once the instructor was satisfied with the students performance, the students log book was signed authorizing the student to do their 1st static line jump.
The jumps were to take place the next morning.
On Sunday 29th June 2013 everyone arrived back at Durban Skydive Centre to be manifest to do their first jump from a C185 Cessna at 3500ft AGL (approximately 1km above the ground)
The student leaves the plane and freefalls for about 3 seconds before the static line pulls out the pin to deploy the main canopy. Once under canopy the student performs all canopy checks to determine if the canopy will be sufficient to allow a safe landing, if not, the student goes straight to reserve drills using two handles to cut away from the main canopy and deploy the reserve.
We are proud to say that everyone on the course from Station 5 successfully jumped from the C185 without any incidents, and landed safely. This is a huge achievement as it takes a very special person to jump from a plane putting their complete trust in the equipment and their ability to function under pressure.
Well done to Team Skydive at Station 5.