20 Minute Call – by Matt Cerda
You can do a lot with 20 minutes. Cook, clean, run, call a friend, watch a commercial free television show. Or you can consider manifesting for the next load. No matter where you call “home”, Skydive Deland, Chicagoland Skydiving Center, The Ranch, Spaceland, Skydive Taft, the 20 minute call is universally understood as the time to make a decision on whether or not you’re going to manifest for the next load. You still have time to finish repacking your equipment, get a group together, dirt dive, even watch film from the previous jump, all within 20 minutes.
Time to get your gear together. A hard thing to do if you’re still packing, but if you have been expeditious, it’s an important goal to strive for as the well-oiled machine that skydiving operations are depend on all pieces moving together effectively. You still have time to get a group together and dirt dive or plan out your solo skydive, maybe even find a load organizer, if applicable, to help coordinate a group jump taking into consideration the varying skill levels present.
No more fooling around (well, maybe mild tomfoolery is acceptable). Hopefully you’re ready by now, because it’s time to make your way to the loading zone. This is important for a number of reasons. Practicing the dirt dive, exit, breakoff, doing final gear checks, getting mentally prepared, practicing emergency procedures, and very importantly, making sure the aircraft is organized in the appropriate exit order to allow for adequate vertical and horizontal separation. This last point can’t be stressed enough. If you’re not in the loading area, then the load can’t be successfully organized. You may be opening slightly higher to take more time under a new canopy, there may already be too many groups incorporating horizontal movement, wingsuiters may have to take into consideration someone doing a high pull, any number of other issues that need to be considered before even loading the aircraft. Being in the loading area with plenty of time before boarding the aircraft is of paramount importance and we collectively need to do a better job of being more punctual to keep the well-oiled machine running smoothly.
5 minutes!?! Oh man, I have to go….