Alas, I fear I must report that I recently had a major falling-out with some of my friends. We have these sort of events all the time, but this time I managed to catch it on video, which is after the fold…
My friend Larry took this video of us doing a ‘4-way’ formation skydive! I don’t get videos of my jumps terribly often, so if I get one and it goes reasonably well, I may write a blog post about it.
This particular formation jump is one I devised myself (though there’s always the chance that someone created a similar jump before I did it). I like to think of it as a ‘clockwork’ skydive, since when done properly things look a little like gears and gizmos turning inside of a mechanical clock.
Let’s walk through it once to see how it works; a skydiving group will always ‘dirt-dive’ their jump in this way to make sure everyone knows what they’re doing. A ’round’ formation is launched directly from the airplane:
Once the formation settles into a stable position, the group transitions to an ‘open accordion’ formation:
From here, the two outside people (3 and 2 in this picture) fly around the outside of the formation to the place formerly occupied by the other:
Now, so that the people on the inside of the formation can have some fun flying around, the formation breaks at the middle (between 1 and 4) and the ‘pieces’ are turned to bring the outside people inside, and vice-versa:
Now the process repeats: the outside people fly to their opposing positions, and then the ‘pieces’ turn again:
Everyone is back in the position of the first open accordion! Now the jump can repeat as often as possible, until 4500 feet is reached and everyone ‘tracks away’ and deploys their parachute.
I’ll occasionally post some videos of fun skydives, and hopefully along the way I’ll explain a bit about the sport to those who have never experienced it…
P.S. If you’re wondering, I’m the one in the green-and-black jumpsuit in the video…
I’ve never done FS (saying that I don’t even have an A licence yet, done 17 jumps on RAPS) but this looks good fun and I managed to identify “open accordian” from the video before reading your write-up, which I’m pleased about.
Out of interest, where do you jump and what stage are you at in skydiving? I jump at Peterlee in the north east of England.
M1ke: Thanks for the message! Good luck on getting the ‘A’ license. (What’s RAPS? I have a feeling we call it something different in the U.S.)
I skydive in the southern U.S.; since I’m currently keeping myself pseudonymous, I’ll say no more than that for now! As far as what stage I’m at, I’ve got a bit over 800 skydives, and my ‘D’ license. I don’t consider myself an expert skydiver by any means, but I know enough that people aren’t scared to jump with me!