After previewing the diveflow with the AFF JMs, up we went. The diveflow was to be: exit, arch, circle of awareness, call altitute left, call altitude right, PRCP, PRCP, PRCP, check altitude, turn left 90, check altitude, turn right 90, check altitude, lock on at 6000, wave off, pull at 5500.
I was a little bit anxious, but not fearful. I think I burned out the terror almost entirely two weeks ago.
My exit took my JMs by surprise. The way a docked AFF door exit is SUPPOSED to work is, I take my position, checkin with the JM on my right, checkout with the JM on my left, and then in 3 distinctive recognizable movements, look at the prop, then stand up, and then squat down. And then step off. Since there is no way the JMs can hear me say something like "one two three", the "prop up down" are how they know when I'm about to step.
I didn't exactly do it that way. I did it all as one fast smooth movement, and caught them by surprise, yanking my leftside off his perch, and hauling my mainside out the door before he expected it. Whoops.
On the other hand, the fall itself went pretty well. I was thinking on the way down that I was screwing up the turns. I was leaning as hard as I felt comfortable (no barrel rolls for me, yet, thank you), and I could hear and feel the relative wind warping around me, and yet the turns were very sluggish and slow.
In the ground review afterwards, I was told, to my surprise, that this was my best dive yet. The sluggish turns were from the fact that I was also having to pull the weight of the JMs around as well, and they weren't able to help very much because I was falling faster than them.
Seems I "fall fast". Falling fast has to do with my basic build, my weight, my position, and my clothes. My build, it won't change. My weight, shedding those last 20 lb won't make a useful difference. My position, my JMs dont want me worrying yet about tuning it. My clothes, that was what got changed (more later).
But first I ate lunch, and then waited an hour for the food to settle. I couldn't wait too long, because today's cohort of AFF 1 students were going to be done with ground school soon, and they all needed to be taken for their jumps. Lower level AFF students get priority over higher level ones, and the scarce resource being contended for is the AFF JMs themselves. There are only 4, and it takes 2 for each student, each jump.
But a little while later, up I was again. The dive flow this time was very very simple. Exit, call altitude, one single PRCP, 3 toe taps, and then pick a heading on the horizon and stay pointed at it. If I start to turn, turn against it, to stop the rotation, and then stay fixed at my new heading. At 6000 lockon, and pull at 5500. But this time, this are a little different, as I shall momentarily reveal.
But first, I was wearing a different jumpsuit, to slow me down. This new one was more designed for aerobatics. It had a bit more fabric under the arms and between the legs, and had a rougher texture. I didn't mind that. I did mind the color. It was peach. Peach! And a rather ugly shade of peach. Oh well, until I come off student status, and then buy my own jumpsuit, I have no standing to object. And it really was necessary.
Very necessary. It would be bad to fall faster than the JMs this time. Because, I was to be flying freely on my own, for the very first time. After the toetaps, as soon as I was stable, they were going to let go of me. They were going to be flying right next to me, ready to grab on if I tumble, but still, I would be undocked and flying myself.
And down we went. I wobbled occationally, but whenever I felt a wobble start, I would arch harder. I couldn't even tell when the JMs let go. My suit was pulling up pretty hard on me. Checking my alt turned me a bit, that's something I need to work on. But was just me. Me. Me! ME! (cue Agent Smith.)
The landing sucked a bit. The ground was coming up faster than it had before, and I froze up a bit right then and so did a halfway halfhearted flare. Bad! It's the flare that stops the decent. Wham! Didn't hurt, sprain, or break anything tho. Just wacked the bottoms of my feet good, a spanking to remind me next time, FLARE DUMMY!
No more jumps for me today, by this point the AFF 1 students were getting manifested, and it would be 8pm by the time they were all done, which would be too close to sunset for a student like me to go up again.
Maybe the next day...