Quoc, Corey, and I drove up to Skydive Snohomish with the crystal clear weather giving us hope that we would finally be able to make our jump. Third time's the charm as we finally got to exit an airplane and soak in the heavenly view from a parachute.
A static line jump works like this: You fly up in a plane and the instructor connects a line to your parachute in the plane. They open the door and you sit in the doorway until he gives you the go. You then step onto a small platform and grab the wing strut. In 15mph winds you shimmy your hands up the strut till you're safely away from the platform. You then hang from the strut and watch for the signal from the instructor to let go. When the signal is given you make your peace with the Almighty and let go, arch your back, and hope your canopy deploys safely.
A tandem is much easier given the fact that you're attached to a trained professional. When you're in the plane the instructors basically says "okay we're going" and he steps you off the plane and he controls everything. When you're doing a static line you are ultimately responsible for everything including your chute not deploying. The jumper has to have piece of mind in order to ensure they can safely pull their reserve, land properly, etc. You also make the conscious decision yourself to exit the aircraft.
Luckily nothing went wrong on our deployment and wasn't likely to. Skydiving is a safer sport than most although the uninformed would likely think otherwise. It is; however, not what you would call a natural act. Since I had some experience skydiving and Quoc and Corey had none I decided to go first. If I died then Quoc and Corey could make a better decision whether to finally go or not, plus I was hoping to instill a bit of confidence in them.
The sky was clear and the view was breathtaking. You could see a perfect panoramic view for miles and I thanked God for the beautiful earth he has allowed us to inhabit. As I came into land I thought of the Pretty Girl and was thankful that I would get to see her once more.
"Why does one want to walk wings? Why force one's body from a plane to make a parachute jump? Why should man want to fly at all? People often ask these questions. But what civilization was not founded on adventure, and how long could one exist without it? Some answer the attainment of knowledge. Some say wealth, or power, is sufficient cause. I believe the risks I take are justified for the sheer love of the life I lead." - Charles A. Lindbergh