Skydives at CarolinaFest 2012!

I’ve been quite busy and having a hard time putting together some science posts.  In the meantime, I thought I’d share a video of a couple of skydives I did a bit over a week ago at CarolinaFest 2012 at Skydive Carolina, my regular dropzone!

CarolinaFest is an event known in skydiving parlance as a “boogie”, which is pretty much a skydiving convention: people come from all over to participate in special activities and to jump out of fun and unusual planes that have been rented for the event.  One of the perks of a boogie is load organizing: expert skydivers are brought in to plan and implement formation skydiving for the attendees.

My friends and I joined up with Regan Tetlow, who works at Skydive Empuribrava in Spain.  I did three jumps with him, though we didn’t have video on the first jump so only the first two jumps on the video have me in them!  I’m the one in the green and black jumpsuit and wearing the leather “frap hat”.

The two I’m in are an “8-way” formation jump and a “6-way” formation jump, both of which went pretty well.  I’ve managed to pick up an annoying habit of pulling my legs in and sinking out on the formation (going lower than I want to), so Regan ended up keeping me pretty close to him for the jumps.  (And I felt a little like an idiot by the end of the day!)

The boogie seemed really crowded this year, and in fact they had four airplanes running constantly on the day I was there!  The first jump was out of a twin otter, and the second was out of my favorite plane, the CASA.  The CASA is especially fun because it has a tail door, which allows for very easy and fun exits with a lot of people linked together.  On the second jump of the video, we actually launched six people together off the plane, though one fellow lost his grip and had to come back to the formation.

Overall, it was a really fun time!  Though my flying wasn’t at its best, I felt like I learned a few things to help improve in the future.  Special thanks to Larry and Kathy Stringer, my friends who recorded and edited these videos, respectively!

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