OEW Skydive Update: Jonathon Blank

Jonathon checking out one of the Skydive Arizona otters. Photo by Niklas Daniel.

Back in September 2021, Operation Enduring Warrior (OEW Skydive) sent Jonathon to AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona to get them ready for their custom Accelerated Freefall (AFF) program. Over the course of three days, Jonathon trained with Brianne Thompson, Niklas Daniel, and Joost Luijsterburg, getting him through his First Jump Course (FJC), flying 15 minutes in the Skyventure Arizona wind tunnel, and completing two succesful skydives.

What follows is a pictoral of Jonathon’s progress.

Jonathon learns how to react to various parachute malfunctions using a training harness and que cards.
Rehearsing emergency cutaway proceedures using a training harness.
Brianne Thompson working with Jonathon in the wind tunnel. Photo by Niklas Daniel.
Special made custom rig and tunnel cover by United Parachute Technologies (UPT). Photo by Niklas Daniel.
Jonathon and Brianne after checking out the otter. Photo by Niklas Daniel.
Rehearsing the exit and jump plan at a mock up. Photo by MURV.
Jonathon exits the aircraft with AXIS Instructors Brianne Thompson and Niklas Daniel. Photo by Joost Luijsterburg.
Looking good!
Jonathon checking his altimeter after a series of practice touches. Photo by Joost Luijsterburg.
Deployment. Photo by Joost Luijsterburg.
A picture perfect landing. Photo by Joost Luijsterburg.
Photo by Joost Luijsterburg.
The gang heading out on Jonathon’s AFF Level 2. Photo by MURV.

Unfortunately we got weathered out by strong winds and were unable to continue jumping.

Current conditions from the AXIS weather station.

We look forward to flying with Jonathon again in early March, completeing his A-Licesene and beyond.

Jonathon Blank is a former USMC Staff Sergeant injured by an IED while deployed to Afghanistan.

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