Went skydiving for the first time on my 18th birthday back in 2011. Although it has been a while, I can still accurately account the day, ask any questions you might have for me!

Imgur Proof here, the note from my instructor in the skydiving logbook from my first jump with a timestamp.

Comments: 222 • Responses: 36  • Date: 

mralbania99 karma

did you die?

CReed212168 karma

Nope

KnightlySir63 karma

stop lying.

CReed212133 karma

Will do

DudeAsInCool39 karma

What the hell happened and how did you get out of the mishap alive?

CReed212158 karma

Well, to better explain the situation, your first few times skydiving, you have your back attached to the chest of your instructor, in what is called a tandem dive. And the instructor is actually the one wearing the parachute. He said afterwards that it was probably the fault of whoever packed the parachute before the jump, because when I pulled the ripcord, the parachute deployed backwards which slowed us down a bit, but not nearly enough. He then had to release the main parachute, and we had to hope that the backup (our only other option) would work, and thankfully, it did.

Afterwards, my instructor said that in his almost 10,000 jumps, he had never had to use the backup parachute before.

DudeAsInCool13 karma

What was the first thought that went through your mind when your parachute failed?

CReed212140 karma

Honestly, this is one of those things that I've been asked the most, and my usual response to this is simply, nothing.

Being told the parachute had failed to open correctly didn't seem frightening at first or anything, my mind just kind of went, "Oh..."

I couldn't quite grasp the concept that I've got one more try with the parachutes, and if that fails, I won't survive this fall.

charliebrown241726 karma

I totally just imagined the "okay" rage face.

CReed212115 karma

Haha, after the initial shock hit me, it moved to being more scared. The scariest moment, I would have to say was when we released the first parachute, there was about 2-3 seconds of free fall, where my stomach flew up into my chest, and it seemed like an eternity to me.

carpii3 karma

How was the instructor communicating with you while in free fall?

I did a tandem jump and couldn't hear shit apart from the wind rushing by.

Sentient_Meat1 karma

He didn't exactly have a total malfunction, it appears the parachute deployed okay, it was just attached backwards so it would have slowed them down enough for the instructor to verbally communicate with the passenger. It's just like how you were able to talk with your instructor once the parachute was open, except they were just flying in the wrong direction.

CReed21211 karma

Yes, that's correct. It slowed us down, but not enough and we were headed in the wrong direction. As for communication during free fall, you can't hear a thing with all the air rushing past you, so you use hand signals.

andybev0128 karma

Did you end up being a second time sky diver? :)

CReed212118 karma

Haha, this is definitely something that I've thought about many times, but as of yet, I have still only been that one time. Maybe sometime in the future, but as of right now there are many things I would still like to do before I take a risk like that again.

brttf317 karma

but it would be relatively risk free... I mean, c'mon, what are the odds!?

CReed212125 karma

Haha, I'm pretty sure asking, "what are the odds?" is pretty much the same as saying "Don't jinx it!".

CdnStanton18 karma

The best feeling about skydiving isn't the initial drop. It isn't the weightlessness. It isn't the freedom. It's that huge JERK when the chute opens and you know everything will be okay. I can't imagine how I would feel if that failed.

No question here. But congratulations - you can now say you've taken off in more planes than you've landed in.

Latitude667 karma

not to mention the severe injustice it does to your crotch!

CReed21211 karma

Yeah, doesn't rack you as hard as I thought it was going to, luckily!

mexican-16 karma

[deleted]

CReed212126 karma

Pretty much slapped death in the face and said, "Nuh-uh! Not yet!".

CReed212113 karma

Well anyways, I see this is dying down a bit now, but thank you for your time and your questions Reddit, I hope to have kept you entertained for a little while at least!

-C

Krappyhuman10 karma

Did you crap your pants?

CReed212114 karma

I've been asked this one a few times before, and they're always disappointed by the fact that neither the instructor or I pissed or crapped ourselves.

lowspeedlowdrag6 karma

What was the malfunction?

CReed212113 karma

The parachute was not packed properly, and when it deployed, it opened facing the opposite way, carrying us backwards and making us fall too fast

fiqar11 karma

I hope whoever packed it got fired.

CReed212119 karma

Yeah, I didn't learn until afterwards that my instructor never packs his own parachutes. It was done by another one of the workers there. I bet he probably packs his own from now on though.

N776AU6 karma

This is why I'll never skydive

Gurip10 karma

And this is why i will be having my 5th jump this summer, i just love that rush and the odds are so low that it will fail it kinda makes me want to do it.

Same for rope jumps from briddges, too bad it costs alot here..

4rch3 karma

I'm thinking about skydiving to get over my free of open heights

andyfuuu3 karma

Good idea, although not really the same thing. Most people I have spoken to (including myself) have a fear of heights because they think 'well what if I fall off?' The thing with skydiving is: You are guaranteed to fall off. Therefore a fear of heights doesn't really kick in haha.

CReed21211 karma

Oh, there's definitely still a bit of fear in you when you're hanging out an open door of an airplane though! Awfully cold, too, which I didn't expect.

lonyernas5 karma

Were you more pissed or relieved? Did everyone make a big deal about it when you guys landed with a reserve chute?

CReed21217 karma

I was definitely more relieved whenever we landed. And for my instructor having to use the reserve for the first time in 10,000 jumps, he definitely seemed relatively calm afterwards. When we landed, there were a few of the instructors around who had seen us release the main parachute, and a truck which had already followed it to where it landed. Having to use the reserve is definitely not a common thing, so of course most other people there had questions about it, but my instructor remained relatively calm. I could imagine that soon after I left, however, he probably had a stern talking-to with whoever had packed it.

lonyernas2 karma

I have friends who were tandem skydivers and they tell me it's very rare for this to happen too. I'm glad you guys are alright.

CReed21212 karma

Well thank you for your concern!

htowntroaway5 karma

About how long did you free fall?

CReed21215 karma

Free fall was surprisingly short. After jumping from about 13,500 feet, I only fell for about a minute until the parachute was pulled at around 5000 feet.

MonsieurAnon2 karma

Was it a certified jump school? Was there the option of going solo first time? Would you have done that if you could? Do you think you could have handled the situation without an instructor at your back? What country?

CReed21212 karma

Yes, it was a certified jump school, located in Illinois, in the U.S.

And as far as I know, for the first few jumps (3-5) they have to be tandem jumps, but that could be wrong. If there was the option to go solo, I would have had to take classes, but for the tandem dive, you only go through about two hours of training, and you jump that day.

No, I probably would not have jumped solo, if I had been given the option, just to be safe.

Honestly, if I was thrown into that situation without an instructor on my back, I don't think I could have handled it by myself.

MonsieurAnon2 karma

2 of my friends have done solo jumps the first time (I'm yet to go). One in Australia in a certified program. She trained for most of the day and then jumped in the early evening. The solo jump she did involved 4 instructors jumping at the same time as her to make sure she was falling correctly and was responsive.

The second friend did her jump in central Russia... she wasn't sure if it was a certified jump school. The training was longer, but no one jumped with her. She was told simply to count to 3 after exiting the plane then pull her rip cord (although the training covered what to do in each emergency situation, including clearing a tangled chute).

CReed21212 karma

Yeah, I could imagine that when going for your first time on a solo jump, there would definitely be some other jumpers with you, just in case. If they had told me to do a solo jump by myself, I really don't think I would have wanted to.

kevinallen1 karma

Skydive chicago? That's where I always jump. If so, makes me second guess it

CReed21211 karma

My jump was at Skydive Saint Louis, not sure if they have any relation

TownIdiot252 karma

Are you Peggy Hill?

CReed21212 karma

Believe it or not, no relation to the Hill family.

TownIdiot251 karma

How do you feel watching that episode?

CReed21210 karma

Not sure which episode you're referencing. Not much of a TV watcher.

TownIdiot251 karma

Peggy Hill jumps out of an airplane and it doesn't open and breaks nearly every bone in her body.

CReed21210 karma

Hmm, I hope she's alright!

Eximiou52 karma

What made you decide that you were going to skydive for the first time?

CReed21211 karma

Had just turned 18, needed something exciting to do! I think I got my money's worth!

ntheg1111 karma

What were the instructors words, if any, to keep you both calm while falling? Did you believe them?

CReed21213 karma

Well, the instructor remained relatively calm about the whole situation. When the parachute first deployed, he said to me, "Well, I'm not going to lie to you, since we're up here together. But the parachute didn't open up right. We're going to have to cut it and hope that the reserve works". And my reaction to this was basically just, "Okay". I trusted him, since he was experienced, and I managed to keep calm.

WillBBC1 karma

Based on your user name I like to imagine a dyslexic Scott Stapp singing Rush covers while almost falling to your death. Question: Did you have any friends/family waiting by the landing area damn near shitting themselves when they saw you release the main chute?

CReed21211 karma

Haha, yeah my parents were at the landing zone watching the whole thing, and of course they had a million questions when we landed

Georgy_K_Zhukov1 karma

On a scale of 10 to 10, how scary was it when it didn't deploy*?

*properly

CReed21212 karma

I'd give it a solid 8.5/10. I think a full 10/10 would have been if the backup failed too.

FukoChan1 karma

On a scale of one to holy shit, how suspenseful was it?

CReed21211 karma

The most suspenseful moment was when we had to cut the main, and there was two or three seconds of freefall between parachutes that seemed to last forever.

GentlemenQuinn1 karma

What are you supposed to do in the event of the parachute, and back-up parachute failing? Is there anything you can do to increase your chances of survival?

CReed21211 karma

Never really discussed what the procedure was for that. I'm guessing the instructor is supposed to try to take one for the team though

ProllyMisterGryphon1 karma

Did you get hurt?

CReed21211 karma

Well, going in with the landing, because of the parachute change and the backup being smaller than the original, he decided to do a sliding landing instead of the traditional standing landing we were supposed to do. Well I didn't know about the change and had my feet down to land, and he had his up, so I caught the weight of both of us and fell over as we landed, but no, I didn't get hurt

DeathByFarts1 karma

he decided to do a sliding landing instead of the traditional standing landing we were supposed to do.

the pic you posted has "standing" checked off for landing .. Whats up with that ??

CReed21211 karma

Yeah, I've noticed that too, and I'm not sure about it. But I clearly remember landing with me in the standing position, and him sitting.

Mixin_Up_Yer_Crayons1 karma

When you first realized something wasn't right did you become hyper-aware and panicked of did it have more of a numb, dumbfounded effect. I have heard anecdotally of both during life tthreatening situations, or was your experience something different altogether?

CReed21211 karma

I was pretty numb and dumbfounded for a second. It almost felt unreal for a bit

herdthat1 karma

The same thing happened to my friend not much more than a month ago! Glad to see you're also ok. When my friend talked to his instructor, the guy said the main parachute is packed at the skydiving place itself by workers, but the backup chutes are packaged in a factor and require rigorous inspection before they can be sent out, just for this reason. Were you told anything like this? Just wondering how true that statement was. Thanks!

CReed21211 karma

Yeah, the backups are packed in the factory and never repacked, and replaced every six months or so. They are intended to never be used, but they have to be in the right condition, just in case.

bigduckman1 karma

Did you get your money back?

What's your favorite kind of dog?

CReed21211 karma

No, I did not get my money back. Before you go skydiving, there are tons and tons of papers you have to sign and initial, saying that you can't sue or get a refund.

And I like dalmatians, but would enjoy them a lot more if they could just stay small forever.

carnifax23-5 karma

So I can ask you anything, huh... What are your views on the Ethiopian economy presently?

CReed21216 karma

From what I hear, they're in a mild slump. 2014 is looking quite promising for them though :P