Sunday, June 29, 2008

Done at last with Airborne School

Airborne school has got to be the longest short school I've ever been to. With more time I would have blogged about the experience as I went through it. Descriptions and attitude would have been very different from day to day.

That said, I safely completed my first five jumps to earn my basic parachutist wings. I'm now a Five Jump Chump, looking forward to knocking a few more out at my unit. C-130 and C-17 jumps provide totally different experiences. The older prop driven 130s are crammed inside and require a short exit jump. Its prop blast, or jetstream is noticeably hot and doesn't throw you too bad. The C-17 may not look like much, but that beast has power. Guess I didn't really believe the C-17 pilot that I used to do Mui Thai with in Charleston. Those guys would hold the brakes and rev the 4 jet engines. Takeoff felt like a quarter mile launch followed by a hard bank followed by a leveling off maneuver that felt like a roller coaster. That ended up being more thrilling than the jump. A few of the girls in my "stick" (jump group of 30) made hillarious faces and complained about how horrible the 17 was - I loved it.

The jumps were relatively uneventful, as they should be. The night jump in combat gear was particularly fun.

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