The Sound of Airplanes

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Have you ever been sat in the Dornier G92 for the umpteenth time and nodded off? Surely that’s not possible considering how noisy it is and how many jumps you’ve already done that day? Well maybe it is, you’d be surprised at how powerful the “lullaby effect” can be when the engines are synchronising in and out of tune.

Credit: Martin Martinez

Unconscious Normalisation

Over a period of hundreds of jumps, we naturally get to learn how the airplane sounds when it takes off, when it’s in flight and when it’s throttled back during run-in. We unconsciously learn to know how the airplane should sound during each part of the skydive.

So how can this help you? Even though our airplanes are kept in tip-top maintenance, there can be occasions when you need to be ready at a moment’s notice to get out:

  • The plane may have leveled off by reaching the cloud-base and that means getting out below your normal altitude.
  • Another scenario is the airplane may have to land due rains coming in. That means clipping back into the safety restraints and putting your helmet back on.
  • It could be an aircraft emergency, an engine could cut out, the pilot could level the airplane off and the Jump Master could very quickly tell everyone to get out! This is what everyone learns on their AFF or Static Line course.
  • Lastly, and one that happens, is that you’ve fallen asleep and suddenly the aircraft cabin gets super noisy and cold as the door opens. You’ve literally got seconds to be ready before the green light comes on.

Being ready

The four examples above demonstrate how you need to be ready at a moment’s notice to be ready to skydive. Whether it’s a matter of safety or simply not paying attention, you need to develop an automatic response of getting ready to exit immediately. That means goggles on, helmet on, lid down, check your handles, pay attention to the JM and exit!

It’s a matter of not being a sheep, but taking control of the situation. You can train yourself to having this instant reaction of readiness when you hear / feel the change in the engines, notice the airplane leveling off and the door opening.

Don’t be a sheep, be ready to go!

Featured image credit: Joe Mann



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