Re: [popsjumper] New rules for canopy-downsizing in Norway. We need comments!
In reply to:
In reply to:
Also, the speed makes it easier to land. If I miscalculate, I only adjust. With my spectre 150, I had to hit the exact sweet spot for it to land as smoothly as my 135 does every time.
'Miscalculate' is a key word here. Fortunately, so far you have been able to correct in time. Faster gives less time for corrections, obviously.
She has a valid point. The window of opportunity for making a good landing is larger, you can make a faster flare lower or a slower flare higher compared to a parachute at a lower speed. The timing is probably the same, but most people look at the ground and start the flare at what they believe is the right height, not at the right time and after 50 jumps or so most people are able to make adjustments to their flare based on what they see, not based on some timing. The reaction time is not that critical as long as you are not scared and I think that is the most important thing. Scared people are bad at flying and that's why people should downsize in small steps IMO (as well as doing canopy drills so they have the tools to get out of tight spots without getting scared).
Many unexperienced jumpers make small misstakes when landing and end up rolling on the ground quite often. I've seen plenty of people stop tumbling in their landings when they downsize. If you tumble enough times you will get hurt, so in that way a slightly smaller parachute does improve that part of the safety equation. Learning to PLF is another good way to lower the risk of being hurt...
Of course, as you say, it comes with a price. If you still are too late, you hit the ground harder. If you turn near the ground, you'll hit it much harder. If you fly into congested areas of the sky, things happen faster and you risk hitting someone. With a bad body position, there is a greater risk of having line twists. But does it take more time for smaller people to learn the advanced skills of looking where they are flying, reading the sky ahead, applying some (more) brakes if the sky still starts to get congested or not doing toggle turns close to the ground? I've not looked at the statistics, but I can't remember seing anyone above 200 jumps turning themselves into the ground by misstake (hooking too low is a different matter). I've seen some people with between 200 and 300 jumps "experience a gust" as they reach for the ground, but then people are already flying horizontal next to the ground so they usually just hurt their pride as they crash and a faster turn would not make much of a difference there.
For people with some experience I do believe a downsize can reduce their risk, but I can't honestly say if the total risk really goes down or up if one adds up all the risks.
(This post was edited by bofh on Mar 4, 2012, 10:56 AM)