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A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries

 

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nigel99  (D 1)

Apr 19, 2011, 7:26 AM
Post #26 of 153 (1062 views)
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Re: [skybytch] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

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It's not a complete solution to the problem of people killing you; nothing is. But it will help reduce accidents like the ones we've seen over the past few weeks.

Rumor has it that Friday's incident was a 90 degree turn.

The "original issue" is not swoopers killing non-swoopers. The original issue is skydivers dying in canopy collisions. Regardless of how the people involved were landing. A skydiver is a skydiver. A canopy collision is a canopy collision. Dead is dead.

Landing is a team sport, and swoopers and non-swoopers are not on opposing teams. We are all on the same team. The opponent is the possibility of a collision, not the people who land differently than I do.

With higher wingloading, regardless of approach, closing speeds are much higher. That must have an impact on peoples ability to react appropriately. At a 60MPH closing speed, which is not very fast, it is 88foot per second. That requires a significant amount of forward planning and anticipation. Perhaps a proper review of current procedure is in order? We have detailed analysis of freefall separation and fairly well established rules in place. If you take 3 seconds to scan the 180 degrees in front of you, which seems a reasonable amount of time, then on a "slow" canopy you need to be anticipating collisions nearly 300 feet away - if my maths are right.


(This post was edited by nigel99 on Apr 19, 2011, 7:54 AM)


dninness  (D 19617)

Apr 19, 2011, 8:38 AM
Post #27 of 153 (1045 views)
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Re: [skybytch] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

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Landing is a team sport. Let's all be on the same team.

Y'know, I think I might make a big sign for the hangar/manifest area that says that... Wouldn't hurt..


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Apr 19, 2011, 8:48 AM
Post #28 of 153 (1043 views)
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Re: [skybytch] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

>Landing is a team sport, and swoopers and non-swoopers are not on opposing teams.
>We are all on the same team.

I agree. But unfortunately experience has shown that we can't all be on the same grass at the same time.


shropshire  (C License)

Apr 19, 2011, 9:04 AM
Post #29 of 153 (1035 views)
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Re: [dninness] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Landing is a team sport. Let's all be on the same team.

Y'know, I think I might make a big sign for the hangar/manifest area that says that... Wouldn't hurt..

I'm worried about folks Hi-5ing me at 200ftUnsure


airtwardo  (D License)

Apr 19, 2011, 9:21 AM
Post #30 of 153 (1031 views)
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Re: [billvon] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

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>Landing is a team sport, and swoopers and non-swoopers are not on opposing teams.
>We are all on the same team.

I agree. But unfortunately experience has shown that we can't all be on the same grass at the same time.


...the Icky Shuffle is really a PLF!


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Apr 19, 2011, 9:48 AM
Post #31 of 153 (1025 views)
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Re: [billvon] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

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But unfortunately experience has shown that we can't all be on the same grass at the same time.

That's why we have separate landing areas for swoop and traditional approaches, right? Those doing traditional approaches can all land in the same grass and those doing swoop approaches can all land in their grass, after the same load, if they work together.

But again, that's asking too much. It's easier to demonize one segment of the community than it is to admit that "we" might be as much or more a part of the problem as "they" are.


in2jumping  (C License)

Apr 19, 2011, 11:07 AM
Post #32 of 153 (1004 views)
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Re: [DrewEckhardt] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

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3) Implement a NO passing rule, lower canopy has the right of way and you must not over take them.

Are we going to implement this with a ban on canopies loaded over 1.2 pounds per square foot? That's as about as high as you can go and be guaranteed not to over-take some one jumping classic accuracy wing loadings who refrains from braked approaches.

Hence the idea of "4) Segregated canopy landing areas" for faster and slower canopies in an attempt to keep vertical and horizontal separation. Kind of like we do now when exiting the aircraft requiring separation to avoid collisions.
The whole idea is to try and bring some control to the existing chaos in the sky. Though this would not be a perfect solution I think would help.


polarbear  (D 25673)

Apr 19, 2011, 3:35 PM
Post #33 of 153 (961 views)
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Re: [in2jumping] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm only going to comment on 1)...others have covered the other 4.

I personally think more training is key, but it needs to be implemented during the B and C license phase. During the A-license phase we already throw a bunch of canopy exercises at the students. Then we make them do those exercises after they are already overloaded with freefall work, and we give them a huge canopy that doesn't do all of the exercises well anyaway. It is difficult to learn in that environment.

My observation is that by the time folks are ready for a B-license, they are much less overloaded by skydiving plus they usually have their own gear. I think this is the appropriate time to focus on canopy training.

Doing it again at the C or D license level allows enough time to pass for the essential skills to get thoroughly practiced and absorbed, plus a lot of folks are downsizing by this time.


polarbear  (D 25673)

Apr 19, 2011, 3:45 PM
Post #34 of 153 (953 views)
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Re: [skybytch] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Landing is a team sport. Let's all be on the same team.

I keep seeing you write this. I couldn't agree more; I'm amazed more people aren't hopping on the wagon.

What do all successful teams do? THEY COMMUNICATE. We should too. We already take time to plan our exit orders to minimize freefall collisions. Why are we not taking time to plan for landing? The safest air I fly in (aside from being alone in the sky) is when we've thoroughly planned the landings. Personally I find a single planeload (even an otter) of traffic can be very simple to navigate if folks have planned it out and follow the plan.

It boggles my mind that our community continually overlooks this. It seems so simple and obvious to me but yet it never gets done. As far as I am concerned it should be standard practice.


DocPop  (C License)

Apr 19, 2011, 3:50 PM
Post #35 of 153 (954 views)
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Re: [polarbear] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

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I personally think more training is key....

Training in what exactly?

I am not sure it is ignorance or inability that is the issue (the two things that training might address). I think it is more a problem of "it won't happen to me".

Perris accident #1 "involved a jumper with 17,000 jumps and another with 8,000 jumps, both very proficient and with very little other traffic around them." (from the USPA Call To Action). What extra training would have made a difference?

Enforcement of the correct behavior is the solution (as others have mentioned), if you believe, as I do, that people know what is right, they just don't do it.


polarbear  (D 25673)

Apr 19, 2011, 4:06 PM
Post #36 of 153 (945 views)
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Re: [DocPop] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

I personally agree that the heart of the canopy collision problem lies in complacency and the 'it won't happen to me' attitude. Prior to 2006 canopy collisions happened but with much less frequency. What changed? Several things, in my opinion, but I think as a whole the biggest contributing factor is complacency.

It's just like how otherwise safe drivers sometimes get distracted and run a red light. It happens, purely because someone stops paying attention.

Having said that, I think the skydiving community as a whole lacks knowledge in canopy piloting. Sometimes even the multi-thousand jump folks. Just spend some time watching the landings at any DZ and you'll see all kinds of carnage.

In the specific case of canopy collisions, I think pattern discipline is lacking. I see all kinds of stupid s*** in the pattern; go to any DZ and watch and I think you will see the same. Folks need to learn how to handle themselves in the pattern.

I also think people are not thinking ahead when it comes to traffic. I stated in an earlier post that I think navigating a single planeload of traffic is usually fairly simple; a huge part of that is understanding that negotiating traffic is done in several steps. Most of those steps occurr before entering the pattern, some ocurr before even leaving the airplane. These days I think folks wait until the pattern to start thinking about traffic. By then there are fewer options.

I think teaching folks to think through traffic before and during the skydive will deconflict a lot of situations.


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Apr 19, 2011, 4:18 PM
Post #37 of 153 (937 views)
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Re: [polarbear] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I also think people are not thinking ahead when it comes to traffic. I stated in an earlier post that I think navigating a single planeload of traffic is usually fairly simple; a huge part of that is understanding that negotiating traffic is done in several steps. Most of those steps occurr before entering the pattern, some ocurr before even leaving the airplane. These days I think folks wait until the pattern to start thinking about traffic. By then there are fewer options.

A lot of what we teach our students, and what is taught in (currently-optional) advanced canopy training classes is focused on improving individual skills. Accuracy, smooth landings, etc. Accuracy of course is a big component of "playing nice in traffic" but it's far from the whole picture. I think you're onto something here - that our canopy training needs to be much more holistic and "team" focused.


DocPop  (C License)

Apr 19, 2011, 4:27 PM
Post #38 of 153 (932 views)
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Re: [polarbear] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

I think we're agreeing in different ways!

Flying a pattern is not rocket surgery. Plan three points in the air and connect them by smoothly flying your canopy between them. Do this while paying attention to everyone else around you and Bingo! You flew a pattern!

Having said that, I think you are right about the value of educating people about where those points should be and how to connect them smoothly. Anyone with a license should know how to do it, but it certainly can't hurt to spell it out again.

Another question - I fly my turns in the pattern as flat/braked turns for two reasons:

1. It makes them slow and avoidable
2. It means I practice flat turns every jump

These are not done in deep brakes, maybe 1/4-1/2 brakes, but my goal is to keep the wing right above my head. I also fly my pattern with a little bit of brakes applied because this allows me to either speed up (go to full flight) or slow down (use more brakes) according to what is happening around me.

What do you guys think of these as recommendations?


polarbear  (D 25673)

Apr 19, 2011, 4:53 PM
Post #39 of 153 (924 views)
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Re: [DocPop] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

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Flying a pattern is not rocket surgery. Plan three points in the air and connect them by smoothly flying your canopy between them. Do this while paying attention to everyone else around you and Bingo! You flew a pattern!

No doubt. It is really simple. Yet like I said, go to just about any DZ and watch, and you see all sorts of stuff from all sorts of people. Sometimes even multi-thousand jump jumpers flying conservatively do stupid stuff.

Our skydiving community does not really ever teach or impress pattern flying once the student phase is over. And guess what? People do stupid s*** in the pattern.

Skybytch is fond of saying 'landing is a team sport'. It is, but we don't teach it that way. We don't encourage it. We assume everyone will just do it right becasue we taught it during the A-license. And then we are amazed that so many people don't do it right.


Chiquita  (D License)

Apr 19, 2011, 5:03 PM
Post #40 of 153 (916 views)
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Re: [billvon] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's some ideas that I have. They are pretty much all things that we can all do a little to help out with, or a person or group can be assigned if so desired. Personally, I think the problem is that we don't seem to talk about what people are going to do under canopy. I know there is no way to dirt dive it exactly, but having at least an idea of what the battle field might look like, makes it a lot easier to get through. When new jumpers show up make sure someone (instructor, coach, or s&ta preferrably) talks to them about what is considered proper canopy flying at that particular drop zone (people seem to think we were all trained the same but we werent), dont expect them to just know or figure it out.

If we would police ourselves, as a group, the way we should be, we will not need new government regulations, laws, bsr's, or anything. We just need to start communicating about what we are planning to do on landing and speaking up about blatant violations. We also should start taking responsibility for ourselves and stop letting those in charge not do something when people do something that could seriously harm themselves or others.

So here are my suggestions:

1. When people manifest have them say what they are planning to do on the jump, what they would LIKE to do on landing and where, and what color(s) their canopy is. (If you know what to look for, you also know what to stay away from)

2. Organize the entire load, including loading the plane and the landings, before people even get near the plane. If things work out right, the people that want to swoop can (if you know someone is swooping and where, they are, its much easier to avoid them). If anyone does anything that they did not plan (unless for safety reasons of course) or were told they could not do, ground them for at least the day, no exceptions.

3. If something is not done, don't manifest. If enough people don't manifest, something will have to be done. When they are not turning loads, they would be foolish, imho, to not do something to one person that is keeping potentially 5-10+people plus from jumping (at some places that is enough to slow loads dramatically).

If you don't think your safety is worth standing up for, then how can you expect someone else to care enough to do something about it. If you care more about doing the jump, regardless of who is on it or what they are potentially going to do that could harm someone, why should the people that run the place not care more about something else as well.

Will you miss a jump or two? Maybe. Will a record attempt not be done? Maybe (if people cared more about their safety then the jump), though I think if enough people did it at the same time, something would done. Will a dzo or two tell you to f-off? Probably, but your safety should be worth it (see above).

But honestly, if people would stop screaming and yelling on here about it and actually take some action (and not necessarily just using my suggestions), I personally think things would change. But then again, maybe I'm just a dreamer with my head in the clouds.

So anyway, there you have it. Thoughts?

P.S. (I wrote this yesterday and didnt have time to post it) I see some people are talking about taking action. But we will have to see how much gets done, especially before it becomes too regulated.


polarbear  (D 25673)

Apr 19, 2011, 5:03 PM
Post #41 of 153 (916 views)
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Re: [polarbear] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

I also want to emphasize two other points:

1) In most of these discussions, we talk about traffic as if it's a black/white, on/off issue. Either there is no traffic (you are the only one in the sky) or there is traffic (at least one other person is out with you). There is a spectrum of traffic, ranging from one person in the air to multiple plane loads. You have to learn to adapt to the traffic at hand.

2)Negotiating traffic starts on the ground, before you even jump. There are things you do on the ground, things you do in the plane, and things you do between opening and the start of the pattern to negotiate traffic. Do those steps right and by the time you get to the pattern traffic is a much smaller issue.

If we ignore those early steps and wait until the pattern to worry about traffic, then we are left with whatever we get and not much time to do anything about it. USPA is harping on 'Seperation in space and time'. I think that's great, but in my view, achieving that seperation is way easier if we deal with it BEFORE getting to the pattern.


polarbear  (D 25673)

Apr 19, 2011, 5:11 PM
Post #42 of 153 (911 views)
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Re: [Chiquita] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Organize the entire load, including loading the plane and the landings, before people even get near the plane. If things work out right, the people that want to swoop can (if you know someone is swooping and where, they are, its much easier to avoid them).

I think having each load organize a plan for the landing is the single most realistic and effective way to reduce the risk of canopy collisions. Come up with a plan and follow it. This wouldn't even require manifest getting involved...jumpers on the load can do this themselves.

Traffic at major airports is handled by ATC telling people what to do and when. ATC provides the plan. We don't have the luxury of ATC, but we DO have the ability to all talk to each other before exit and come up with that plan. This seems so obvious to me it's angering we don't have it ingrained in our culture.


Chiquita  (D License)

Apr 19, 2011, 6:08 PM
Post #43 of 153 (888 views)
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Re: [polarbear] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't mean for manifest to do the organizing. I think that if it was on the load sheet for each load, before loading the plane, have someone or everyone look at it and come up with a game plan. Maybe assign a load organizer for each load just to organize the loading and landing of jumpers, that way you have a deciding voice and hopefully less bickering.

I have often wondering why no one ever seemed to talk about their plan for landing, except for some people, like teams and friends that are jumping together.


polarbear  (D 25673)

Apr 19, 2011, 6:16 PM
Post #44 of 153 (887 views)
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Re: [Chiquita] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

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I have often wondering why no one ever seemed to talk about their plan for landing, except for some people, like teams and friends that are jumping together.

Exactly. It makes no sense, especially in light of the problems we are having.


jsaxton  (D 26818)

Apr 19, 2011, 6:39 PM
Post #45 of 153 (881 views)
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Re: [DocPop] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

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I am not sure it is ignorance or inability that is the issue (the two things that training might address). I think it is more a problem of "it won't happen to me".

that's called "arrogance"


danielcroft  (D 31103)

Apr 19, 2011, 7:34 PM
Post #46 of 153 (872 views)
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Re: [polarbear] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

We talk about landing direction at our DZ and what people are doing. But one of the issues we seem to have is people randomly deciding to land however and people being cocks when you're trying to work out direction. They seem to think it's hilarious to say that they're landing into the wind. I make a point of agreeing the direction when I'm on loads and then we announce and confirm again in the plane. Even before this latest incident I'd been talking to people about landing contrary to the agreed direction.

I think that there are two sides to this "team sport" called landing. One is communicating what we're doing and the other is calling people out who don't do what's agreed. That doesn't mean storming up and calling them an asshole (although, that might work for some, it's generally accepted to not be the best method). That means calling *everyone* out, including me.




airtwardo  (D License)

Apr 19, 2011, 8:20 PM
Post #48 of 153 (852 views)
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Re: [danielcroft] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

Practical, positive and simple...I like your ideas!


obelixtim  (D 84)

Apr 19, 2011, 10:21 PM
Post #49 of 153 (828 views)
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Re: [airtwardo] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

About further training at the B and C licence stage.

There's an old saying "Its hard to teach an old dog new tricks."

This applies very much to skydivers who have reached the "bulletproof" stage, and don't take kindly to advice from someone else. We all know them....

Basic canopy flying skills need to be hammered in at the earliest possible stage, even if at that point, they are not flying HP canopies. Good flying habits are easier to instill because a novice is more receptive to advice.

Another point about DZ landing officers....how about a card system like in many sports, where an infraction under canopy results in a yellow card, another earns a red...resulting in grounding. Of course the DZ rules(and sanctioning system) have to be clearly pointed out to everyone, prior to jumping.

Infractions can be recorded, and individuals who accumulate a series of cards over time could be identified, and dealt with. (baseball bat behind the hangars perhaps???Cool)

Then a blacklist which can go on the internet and be accessed by every DZSO on the planet could be introduced.

This might weed out a few idiots, and at least reduce the bad example they set which some low timers decide they want to emulate.

In the good old days dickhead skydivers gained a reputation that followed them around, and most switched on people knew to stay away from them.

Some of the problems are there, because on big DZ's with lots of action, people can screw up and still remain relatively anonymous, simply due to the sheer volume of jumps done. When nothing actually happens, people quickly forget near misses.

Violaters of good practice need to be named and shamed.....knock on effect, is it encourages others to behave.

My 2 cents.....


(This post was edited by obelixtim on Apr 19, 2011, 10:31 PM)


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Apr 19, 2011, 11:29 PM
Post #50 of 153 (816 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] A Solution for Current Canopy Collisions and Canopy Related Deaths/Injuries [In reply to] Can't Post

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The solution is a fundamental shift in what is considered acceptable by the general jumping public. It takes the long-time jumpers and DZ staff to set the example, though.

For instance, how many people in the sport think it is cool to suck it down for a low pull? How many people widely accept big-low toggle hook turns?

It takes a shift in which people who fly their canopy unsafely are shunned and treated as outcasts.

That isn't just wanna-be swoopers (real swoopers don't swoop in traffic). This is also the old RW-guys on Stilettos flying like crap through a pattern. This is also the low time jumpers who think it is cool to spiral their canopy down. This includes a LOT of people.

Training won't fix attitudes. BSR's won't fix acceptance. FAA can/will fix it all and we won't jump like we do anymore!

This needs to be repeated. Dave is a hard core swooper and he understands it is not a swooper problem. Part of the CC problem, not the only part, is dip shits swooping in traffic. Its like some kid trying to run the Indy 500 on the freeway. His car can go that fast but his brain cant. Education may help but you have to change the attitude first. This had been building for years but needed a couple of high profile incidents to get peoples attention. Everyone not living under a rock has been aware of the problem but some still think a 270 in traffic is cool if you clear your air space. Like Dave said this has nothing to do with education it has to do with attitude and maturity.
The only way to change attitude is with hard reality. This can only come from the DZOs. Post a short list of realistic canopy rules where is will be seen by everyone that jumps at the DZ. Have manifest announce it every 15 minutes and point it out to all that manifest. At the bottom of the list in big bold letters announce One strike and you are Out. Let it be known that in one week or two weeks this will go into effect. And then stand by it with NO exceptions. That will go a long way in dealing with over 60% of CC fatalities.

Let the flames begin.

Sparky


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