April 23rd, 2010
5:00 AM came very early for the XRW Athletes. Coffee (thanks Clint!) and cereal (thanks Eli!) helped get us on our way to Skydive Moab, ready to skydive!
JT and Jeff arrived ready and excited to begin the project. They had a nice dirt dive, where exits, approaches, and camera angles were discussed and finalized. After a short briefing with Pilot Dave, the jumps were ready to begin!
I want to say this right now…THANK YOU SKYDIVE MOAB! Thank you Eli! They have been the best hosts, and we really appreciate them opening up the Dropzone so very early for us!
I will not lie or hide behind my typical bravado…I was very nervous. A lot of preparation and thought has gone into this project, and I do not want to be the weak link! I have been quite restless the past few nights, hoping that I can deliver “the shot”!
7:00AM – Wheels Up! Moab UT, what beautiful country. If you are not familiar with the area, let me give you a quote from Eli, “it’s like flying over mars!” Moab’s deserts and mountains which are mostly sandstone, combine beautiful reds, oranges, greens, and tans. It is a totally surreal experience which I have never had before! Tourists come from all over to charter flights over the country we see on each climb to altitude. Pilot Dave made sure to give us a scenic flight to help familiarize us with the area.
7:25AM – Exit! Jonathan takes a short delay while we take a lazy circle before exiting ourselves. As we catch up to Jonathan, we both notice that something has gone awry with his RDS. We both kept a safe distance as he deals with a bucking canopy and his unruly slider. Shortly before breakoff (remember only 10K), he has it sorted, and we maintain our proximity – learning our sight lines. On to jump 2!
8:00AM – Takeoff Jump 2! We decided to refine our jump run/exit order. We now run away from the drop zone, Tagle exits first and does a 180, and then we continue flying away to increase the distance, and let Jonathan sort his RDS, Trim Tabs, and heading. We then make a quick 180, exit, and then chase him down. This gave us a much better approach, where we could approach safely, slowly, and on level. Jeff wasted no time in going for the dock. I guess Jeff felt that a simple dock was too easy, so he decided to play pat-a-cake with Jonathan instead (video to come!)
9:00AM – Jump 3 – More docking! Jeff, Jonathan, and myself are all feeling the approach and fall rates. Jeff and Jonathan are maintaining docking distance, and work on holding their docks. I still cannot get over the most amazing visual I have EVER SEEN in skydiving…Jeff in free fall…Jonathan under canopy…flying together DOCKED!!
11:00AM – Jump 4 – Well…I screwed up and went low… but I still got this..