So whilst Lee has had the ‘benefit’ of throwing his reserve twice in real life (the hazard of being an Acro pilot), I’ve never (touch wood) had to throw mine in anger. In fact I bought it three years ago and although I have had it repacked annually, generally it’s not something I think about. Occasionally I’ve had the odd thought such as ‘would I be able to find the handle’ and ‘will I be able to pull the reserve out’ but the concerns have not been anything major…. just a little niggle in the back of my mind.
This year however a friend suggested I come down to the Thames Valley Hangliding and Paragliding clubs ‘Big Fat Repack’ and have a go on their Zip Line. As the offer also included overnight accommodation, a homemade curry and a sneaky visit to the Bombay Sapphire Gin factory it seemed too good to pass up (Thank you Alan Birtles!!)
So on March 15th Lee and I found ourselves heading up to the Rivermead Leisure Centre in Reading and I found myself waiting nervously at the top of a zip line. The short video below shows what happened next and although I don’t want to ruin the surprise I found out the answers to my questions above are actually yes and yes….oh and my reserve is bright yellow!
Thank you so much to the team at Thames Valley, particularly Ken Hammond for the reassuring phone call and Nick Roberts for showing me how to repack my reserve afterwards. It was a really informative day with lots of fun and familiar faces thrown in.