Except for his name, I knew nothing about Matthias, but for about a quarter of an hour he was the most important person in my life. It was the 31. December 2019, and I wanted to finish the year with a tandem jump over the Namib desert. The mood in our group was omitted. Before the jump we drank us a little bit of courage, during which I left on the tandem master Matthias, and then we were us euphoric in the arms and talked about our resolutions for the next year.
editor of the digital edition of the F. A. Z.F. A. Z.
Seven months later, I'm sitting in my Frankfurt one-room apartment and long for adventure. For too long I have seen nothing other than my own four walls. Friends make me on a parachute course to your attention: A day of theory and ground training, the next day, a quick recap and then the first Solo-jump. I do not hesitate to message me. Shortly thereafter, the first doubts already. The tandem jump had cost me already Overcome. Now I would be in the air on my own. No Matthias, no courage from bottles, only the parachute and my sober Me.
Despite all the concerns, I find myself with five other students on an airfield in the Eastern Sauerland. In the next few hours we will learn the theoretical basics and play through different scenarios. What to do when the parachute opens properly? What do you do when it opens right? How is controlling and lands unscathed? My brain stores all the information, without realizing that you could be the next day is important for me to live. It's a short night I always go back to the emergency steps by following. The main parachute disconnect, reserve parachute pull. Disconnect, Reserve, separation, Reserve, this is my new Mantra.
The machine rises, and with it, my pulse
The next day, waiting for us a bright blue sky. It is the perfect jump the weather is, even if the Wind could be the professionals, according to a little stronger. According to one theory test, we are divided into three flights. I'd like to put everything behind me. But as is my luck, should I jump as the last student. So it means: to Wait, watch the others and try not to spin. This is not so easy. A student from the first flight landing on a fence. His upper arms look afterwards, as would have drawn a cat on you. The Next braking too early and falls very roughly into the Grass. Another don't jump in the first place, because in the plane the fear is overcome. Not exactly a wholesome balance.
Then it is ready. I climb into the plane, with me, the Pilot, an instructor and another student. My parachute is hooked to a leash at the back of the plane, so that it unfolds during my jump automatically. At least in theory. The machine lifts and my pulse. I'm trying to concentrate on the view. Below me, woods and meadows, in between a small lake. It's nice here. Finally, the other student jumps in and after a little extra round, I'm at the range.
As the aircraft door opens, it hits me in the Wind with full force. Suddenly, the crack appears threatening and impossible, utterly insane. I turn to my coach. "The Wind is too strong, I can't climb out," I say, no, I was screaming. "That is impossible!" In short I hope that he takes pity on me and the whole thing breaks off. Instead, he looks at me, only deeply relaxed. It all helps nothing. I brace myself for the Wind. To my own amazement, I shortly after, in 1200 meters height on a narrow metal level. From now on, there is no going Back. On the plane I'm not allowed for security reasons. I look at my Trainer, he stretches his thumb in the height. The Signal for my Exit. I just nod, take a deep air and freeze. I can't do that, not at all I think over and over again, I want to. Since I am now so caught up in my own personal Twilight Zone. And now? After a Moment that seems to me to be forever but much too short, it is again the view of my Coach, gives me courage: His facial expression gives me a strange sense of calm. And then I fall like a stone into the depths.Updated Date: 29 July 2020, 01:20