Today was jump 7, which was my third and final PRCP (practice rip cord pull). It was an interesting ride up. The weather is getting worse, and it was raining last night. When I was about to jump, it wasn’t raining, but there was quite a bit of unpredictable wind, and some fun turbulence on the ascent. The jumpmaster was new to me, and he didn’t seem to have a full grasp of what was going on. He wanted to take me up to 4500 feet first, and thought I was pulling my own chute, despite being told twice on the ground of the plan. We got it all straightened out, though, and circled around again. When I looked out of the plane, I couldn’t see the drop zone before I jumped. We were being put out far from the landing area, which also made me a little nervous.
The jump went well and I reached my fake ripcord and pulled it out perfectly. My chute deployed correctly, and I tried to make it back to the landing area. The wind was blowing hard, and it was a little bumpy at times. Essentially, I faced almost perpendicular to the landing area the entire descent, facing into the wind so that I wouldn’t be pushed too far downwind and would eventually make it onto the landing area. Fortunately, I did make it, but it was quite a ways and I was amazed that I did. I flared at the right time and had a standing landing. The jumpmaster and another student weren’t so lucky. They ended up a few hundred yards away because they didn’t make it far enough. The wind was really unpredictable, and I started to feel drops of rain on the descent, but it was great practice and a lot of fun.