Friday, November 07, 2008
What a day! Not a lot of jumps, but lots of logistics to deal with. Magnet board laid in, video room set up complete with interview confessional, and for me personally, I got my initial experience with a new container. WOW, it felt great to jump it. Thanks again to Rigging Innovations.
The team captains started to work even harder than before, at times looking like a basketball team huddled up sharing the top-secret, insider information that assuredly will allow this event to successfully build. We’ve already started learning more about our slots, which are much more distant than we’ve practiced all summer. Makes for a much prettier sight picture, but no where near as easy to fly. Seriously. Flying in slot farther from someone is significantly harder than flying in slot very close to someone. Tighter is easier, in my opinion. But it also leaves more room for error when you’re tight, and the more distant slot is much prettier in photos, and covers more airspace. I think it’s more safe, too.
A few video interviews were done, but the big event will attract ESPN, EXPN, and Comcast Sports Network (CSN). Jeff and Scotty both sport new haircuts, so they’re all prepped up for their on-camera appearances.
We dirt-dived hard. Both in suits and out, and there were a few moments of confusion in this first day of group landings. A pattern was established to separate the wingsuit landing direction from any others that might be landing. The red/yellow card warning system has been established and kicks into full effect tomorrow morning at 6.00 a.m. Tonight is our last free night as normal humans. Tomorrow, we become robots, slaves to the clock and cube. 3 meters square, no more, no less for our slotted positions. Three square meters is a larger area than one might expect.
Birdman, Phoenix-Fly, S-Fly, and TonySuits are all represented here; suits of every hue and shade in the rainbow are seen milling about. If you asked me, some of the color combinations should be considered illegal distractions in the air. Are some skydivers colorblind?
The team briefings are fun as well. Cramming 30 people into a 10 x 12 room isn’t. Watching the jumps on a 15” computer screen isn’t. Thank heaven that Hammo helped us set up a monitor system that allowed us to control briefings from the media computer systems while keeping all the wingsuiters out of the video rooms.
Jim, our pilot is a dream come true. He turned on the green light on the second jump of the day, and then realized we were out just a bit too far. So…everyone climbed back in. Except for Scotty Burns. Scotty hung on the side of the plane for dear life (in the camera slot, wearing a wingsuit) while Jim banked the plane around for a 180, putting us more on track for our 2.5 mile flight. Scotty looked like he was having the time of his life. Jim didn’t know he was out there. Oh what fun we have as skydivers!