PG_1200x160_head

Tales From the Bonfire | The Fog

By Jerry Lehnherr

Tales from the Bonfire | August 2019
Thursday, August 1, 2019

I had worn an open-face helmet with goggles for many years, but after starting to wear glasses, I decided to get a full-face helmet that could accommodate them. I used this helmet on skydives and in the tunnel for more than a year before I had any problems.

On my sixth jump at the K2 big-way formation skydiving event at Skydive DeLand in Florida, I broke off at 4,000 feet as part of the second tracking group. As I tracked off, the full-face lens on my helmet fogged over. I lifted my wrist-mounted altimeter up in front of the lens to check if I could read it. To my horror, I couldn’t see the altimeter—or my hand—at all! I thought, “Now what? What is safest?” I decided I could either 1) wait for my audible to tell me to pull at the designated 3,000-foot altitude or 2) pull immediately, because altitude is my friend and I’d have more time to deal with any ensuing problems.

I decided to go neutral, wave vigorously and pull, hoping for a clean, straight opening. As quickly as I could, I popped open my lens, but to my surprise, my glasses were also fogged over! I quickly wiped my glasses with a gloved finger, only to find that they were fogged over on the inside. Finally, I wiped the inside of the lenses, and I could see again. Fortunately, my teammates had tracked as expected, and I had a good opening. I was shaken but relieved, and my landing was uneventful.

I made several consecutive lifesaving decisions, correct or not. Sometimes we do our best, and in the end, I just got lucky. We can’t practice for this scenario, but we can avoid it. I’m told by Rock Sky Market that there are anti-fog wipes that address this situation. I’m sure they will be in my gear bag from now on, so next time I’m tracking away from a big-way, I won’t go blind!

Jerry Lehnherr | D-7722
Stoughton, Wisconsin

Print
Categories: In Your Words, Tales from the Bonfire   |   Rate this article:
No rating
  |  Number of views: 2428   |  Comments: 0

Leave a comment

This form collects your name, email, IP address and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.
Add comment

Theme picker

Search by Keyword

Search by Issue Date

(More articles being added every day!)

Airtec_400x240
SS_400x240