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Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013

 

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labrys  (D 29848)

Nov 6, 2013, 1:34 PM
Post #126 of 210 (4675 views)
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Re: [grue] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm reasonably sure I can out-track debris that is in an unpowered uncontrolled freefall. I'd like to think that in a situation such as this one I'd pick a line and track hard to get clear of everyone and everything.

Same here


topdocker  (D 12018)

Nov 6, 2013, 1:42 PM
Post #127 of 210 (4644 views)
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Re: [labrys] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

labrys wrote:
Quote:
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm reasonably sure I can out-track debris that is in an unpowered uncontrolled freefall. I'd like to think that in a situation such as this one I'd pick a line and track hard to get clear of everyone and everything.

Same here

The hazard is that the debris is chasing eight other skydivers who now aren't watching for you. And everyone has picked a trajectory based on where they exited, not the center of the group/debris and not looking out for each other, just themselves.

top


grue  (D License)

Nov 6, 2013, 1:52 PM
Post #128 of 210 (4609 views)
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Re: [topdocker] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

topdocker wrote:
labrys wrote:
Quote:
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm reasonably sure I can out-track debris that is in an unpowered uncontrolled freefall. I'd like to think that in a situation such as this one I'd pick a line and track hard to get clear of everyone and everything.

Same here

The hazard is that the debris is chasing eight other skydivers who now aren't watching for you. And everyone has picked a trajectory based on where they exited, not the center of the group/debris and not looking out for each other, just themselves.

top

The good news is that anyone who can track worth a rat's ass would need AT MOST a couple thousand feet to get clear. At that point, have a hell of a lot of time to make sure nobody else is near you.


labrys  (D 29848)

Nov 6, 2013, 2:12 PM
Post #129 of 210 (4561 views)
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Re: [grue] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
And everyone has picked a trajectory based on where they exited, not the center of the group/debris and not looking out for each other, just themselves.

How is this any different from the average 8 to 9 way zoo dive that turns into a cluster with people on different levels and facing different directions at break-off?

ETA... it still feels *way* more dangerous to me to get knocked off a Cessna step with other people in the middle of flaming debris and *not* attempt to get clear of both them and the debris before deploying when we're all at 10,000 feet.

at 1500 feet, it's another story.


(This post was edited by labrys on Nov 6, 2013, 5:19 PM)


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Nov 6, 2013, 5:57 PM
Post #130 of 210 (4243 views)
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Re: [grue] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

grue wrote:
topdocker wrote:
labrys wrote:
Quote:
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm reasonably sure I can out-track debris that is in an unpowered uncontrolled freefall. I'd like to think that in a situation such as this one I'd pick a line and track hard to get clear of everyone and everything.

Same here

The hazard is that the debris is chasing eight other skydivers who now aren't watching for you. And everyone has picked a trajectory based on where they exited, not the center of the group/debris and not looking out for each other, just themselves.

top

The good news is that anyone who can track worth a rat's ass would need AT MOST a couple thousand feet to get clear. At that point, have a hell of a lot of time to make sure nobody else is near you.

Based on the outcome, I'd say they all get an A+ in this catagory. Smile


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Nov 6, 2013, 7:12 PM
Post #131 of 210 (4135 views)
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Re: [DBCOOPER] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

DBCOOPER wrote:
Which way do you think the lead plane will roll when a stall spin starts when the ball is out to the right due to uncoordinated flight due to the increased drag of the skydivers? And when it rolls and the skydivers come off the strut how much time do you think trail will have time to react? If the trail plane was on the left do you think it would it be a non event?

With no rudder correction, the ball will actually be on the left not the right.

Assuming the lead pilot is so bad that he allows a stall then I guess we must assume he won't be aware enough to step on the ball and correct the yaw created by the drag of the jumpers.

In that scenario then yes the plane will likely roll to the right.

However, if we have competent pilots then the stall is out of the equation. For the sake of argument let's say the lead pilot does allow a stall. If he has coordinated the controls by keeping the ball centered then the plane does not have to roll but should instead break straight ahead.

We can only hope the pilot flying trail will see and recognize the impending stall and bail out of the jump run.

Bare in mind I am imaging this scenario with a highly experienced pilot in the lead and the novice yet still competent pilot in the trail.

I still believe that putting the novice pilot on the right allows him to see the lead with no distractions and sets him up for the best chance of success.

When we use to leave the DZ and on the way to the big city to party, we would do body passes on the Interstate.
We always put the lead car on the left driving straight and maintaining speed allowing the trail car on the right to match speed and get close enough for the body passes.

I can't imagine doing it the other way. I wanted that driver to see just how close he could get without touching the lead car. Because he sat on the left side of the car this setup just made the most sense. We never scraped up a car or lost a body during the passes (we did run over one on a hey rack ride but that's another story).

I rest my case.

Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

.


(This post was edited by Skydivesg on Nov 6, 2013, 7:13 PM)


topdocker  (D 12018)

Nov 6, 2013, 9:46 PM
Post #132 of 210 (3947 views)
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Re: [labrys] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

labrys wrote:
Quote:
And everyone has picked a trajectory based on where they exited, not the center of the group/debris and not looking out for each other, just themselves.

How is this any different from the average 8 to 9 way zoo dive that turns into a cluster with people on different levels and facing different directions at break-off?

ETA... it still feels *way* more dangerous to me to get knocked off a Cessna step with other people in the middle of flaming debris and *not* attempt to get clear of both them and the debris before deploying when we're all at 10,000 feet.

at 1500 feet, it's another story.

Just stating that the flaming debris is not the ONLY concern when trying to survive this. The outcome shows how good (and lucky) everyone was.

top


DBCOOPER  (D 24112)

Nov 7, 2013, 2:34 AM
Post #133 of 210 (3794 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Well we're not playing body pass here are we. We're playing body bag if the right chain of events happens. So if we apply the basic principles of risk management we can eliminate some of the risk by putting the least experienced pilot in lead and fly trail of to the left so if something does happen with lead such as a stall/roll right it's easier for the trail pilot to deal with.
If you fly left trail you will have the whole windscreen to look thru and have easy visual access to the panel. Flying right trail has the visual field partially blocked by structural components of the aircraft.


fcajump  (D 15598)

Nov 7, 2013, 5:25 AM
Post #134 of 210 (3667 views)
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Re: [grue] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

grue wrote:
topdocker wrote:
labrys wrote:
Quote:
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm reasonably sure I can out-track debris that is in an unpowered uncontrolled freefall. I'd like to think that in a situation such as this one I'd pick a line and track hard to get clear of everyone and everything.

Same here

The hazard is that the debris is chasing eight other skydivers who now aren't watching for you. And everyone has picked a trajectory based on where they exited, not the center of the group/debris and not looking out for each other, just themselves.

top

The good news is that anyone who can track worth a rat's ass would need AT MOST a couple thousand feet to get clear. At that point, have a hell of a lot of time to make sure nobody else is near you.

I also believe that even my feable tracking skills should out distance that wingless fireball. However, you also have a powered/flying/partially damaged plane with a pilot who is somewhat distracted and has his hands/mind full of how to land this thing... I'd rather be above him and out of his way than down below where he's trying to figure out whether his plane is intact or not.

My (monday morning q-backing) thought would be to fast track for a bit and then open high. (OR, if I could quickly determine that I was 100% clear of everything and everyone, dump right then...)

My sincere congratulations to those who did not have the luxury of a few days to think about what to do... you did what you had to do and did not die!! Well done.

JW


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Nov 7, 2013, 8:04 AM
Post #135 of 210 (3483 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

After watching this a couple times and thinking about it I'm wondering if the "top" aircraft" was actually supposed to be trail. Does anyone know? I can't imagine a trail pilot not being concerned that he completely lost sight of the lead. Is it possible that he was lead and the other aircraft passed him during climb out?


sornyd  (D 9856)

Nov 7, 2013, 8:44 AM
Post #136 of 210 (3427 views)
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Re: [CSpenceFLY] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

The video shows the 185 as left trail and slightly higher than the lead plane before anybody starts to climb out. When I first saw it, I noticed the pilot looking to the right, and thought he was watching the jumpers. But now I'm thinking he's watching the other aircraft...disappear behind the dash.


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Nov 7, 2013, 10:44 AM
Post #137 of 210 (3264 views)
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Re: [DBCOOPER] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

DBCOOPER wrote:
Well we're not playing body pass here are we. We're playing body bag if the right chain of events happens. So if we apply the basic principles of risk management we can eliminate some of the risk by putting the least experienced pilot in lead and fly trail of to the left so if something does happen with lead such as a stall/roll right it's easier for the trail pilot to deal with.
If you fly left trail you will have the whole windscreen to look thru and have easy visual access to the panel. Flying right trail has the visual field partially blocked by structural components of the aircraft.

OK - I didn't mean to ruffle feathers - my apologies if I did. I threw in the body pass story for some levity but I believe the analogy is still valid.

As I stated earlier - I don't consider myself the expert on formation flying. Obviously there is no formal training on this skill set. I'm only stating my opinions based on dozens of formation flights in various slots and even more as the load organizer of these loads as a jumper. There was a time when we would always end the day with a formation load sometimes more than one - often with 3 or 4 planes (I'm talking Cessnas here).

During those times I helped break in pilots new to this type of flight. I've already stated up-thread that the least experienced pilot needs to fly lead and safety is always the highest priority. We would get this new guy comfortable with other planes (flying close) by having one of us experienced pilots fly in formation with him for a few thousand feet on a regular climb to altitude with no formation jump intended. We did this on multiple loads to help steel his nerves. Of course this was briefed before flight and we had constant radio communication.

Then when we thought him ready, we would start flying loads with him in the lead and a very experienced pilot in the trail. However, if we ever wanted the new guy to be able to fly trail, at some point we had to put him in the back.

Again we would do this starting off slow by having him fly a loose formation during a climb for a few thousand feet on a regular jump (no formation load intended) with him in trail. After he got comfortable seeing and being in the same airspace with the other plane he would gradually (over several flights) close the distance. Once he and the other pilots were comfortable with him in the trail slot we would start putting him back there on formation loads.

In my opinion (and this is only my opinion) based on my experience, I believe the safest spot for the new pilot is on the right trail. If I had a true concern for the lead pilot to stall and or roll right I would not be nor would I allow another pilot in the same airspace with him.

For the sake of civil debate let's use this scenario. Let us assume all the jumpers are out on the step in an attempt to launch a 4 way and the lead pilot allows the plane to stall and start to roll right. And let's say that the lead pilot mistakenly has full left rudder deflection. And now let's say that the jumpers on the lead plane realize what's happening and let go before the trail jumpers are ready thereby instantly removing all the right yaw they've induced. What happens to the lead plane at this point? Full on stall - full left rudder and likely some left aileron as well?

I honestly don't believe this is a likely scenario because we are making it sound as though this pilot is making almost every major mistake he can (short of adding a full on cut).

As I stated, flying these loads can be overwhelming but we mitigate this by only using pilots who have shown they have their shit together over multiple hours of flying jumpers and practice formation loads. If they were going to make these kinds of mistakes I think it would have surfaced before we decide to use them as a formation pilot. And as I stated earlier there have been pilots with whom I would not fly or allow to fly formations.

I understand the difference in people's preference of right vs left side trail and that it's likely based on the experience of each individual (at least I know mine is based on that). If I were flying a load with someone, I would want them on what ever side they feel the most confident. It's clear many of us will have conflicting opinions on this subject. I believe at this point we would be better served to continue to discuss and educate our pilots and jumpers of the rest of the formation flight procedures.

I really would like to hear from pilots and jumpers with experience in these formation loads. What say you?

As a side bar - I don't doubt my opinion of the right side trail has been influenced by me being in the lead plane as a jumper and organizer of the load. And having the trail plane on the right gives me more visual on him - especially on jump run with the door open. When I organize these as a jumper I'm most always in the lead plane in the jump master slot. I'm always talking with my pilot letting him know what I see and where the trail plane is located and if the setup looks good. If something doesn't look or feel right, I'm not letting my people climb out.

Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

.


(This post was edited by Skydivesg on Nov 7, 2013, 11:34 AM)


amyholson

Nov 7, 2013, 11:34 AM
Post #138 of 210 (3182 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

pilot's rig was a strong


DBCOOPER  (D 24112)

Nov 7, 2013, 2:13 PM
Post #139 of 210 (2980 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Your not ruffeling my feathers. I'm just an opinionated asshole with a few hundred hours flying formation in helicopters and only a half a dozen formation flights in a 182. In my opinion the best way to teach someone to fly formation is in an aircraft with dual controls and an experienced PIC to share their experience with the novice. OJT while flying loads probably isn't the safest time or place.


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Nov 7, 2013, 3:31 PM
Post #140 of 210 (2890 views)
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Re: [DBCOOPER] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

DBCOOPER wrote:
Your not ruffeling my feathers. I'm just an opinionated asshole with a few hundred hours flying formation in helicopters and only a half a dozen formation flights in a 182. In my opinion the best way to teach someone to fly formation is in an aircraft with dual controls and an experienced PIC to share their experience with the novice. OJT while flying loads probably isn't the safest time or place.

I totally agree, that would be the best way.

The reality is (on all four DZs I've flown formation loads) we would be lucky to find the other front seat - let alone the yoke. So we did what we had to. And with the proper planning and using the methods I described we were quite succesful and we home grew some pretty damm good formation jump pilots.

CSpenceFLY wrote:
After watching this a couple times and thinking about it I'm wondering if the "top" aircraft" was actually supposed to be trail. Does anyone know? I can't imagine a trail pilot not being concerned that he completely lost sight of the lead. Is it possible that he was lead and the other aircraft passed him during climb out?

After watching this video, I think anything could be possible on this flight. Since we don't and may never know the truth I can only commnent about what I would do.

It's difficult for me to imagine continuing to fly the formation and allowing jumpers out after lossing sight of the lead plane. If I saw that I was high and to the left of the lead (especially as close as they were and obviously overtaking the lead) I would have pulled up, banked left and initiated a left turn to clear air space while boadcasting on the radio in simple terms of my actions.

It is imperative that the trail pilot never loose sight of the lead plane and always stay in their own "imaginery glass box".

The lead plane is at the mercy of the actions of the trail plane unless of course the lead does something really stupid and totally against the flight plan. The lead must be predictable in executing the plan.

But even having made that last statement I reiterate - It is imperative that the trail pilot never loose sight of the lead plane and always stay in their own "imaginery glass box".


Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

.


(This post was edited by Skydivesg on Nov 7, 2013, 3:33 PM)


skyjames  (D 22308)

Nov 7, 2013, 4:33 PM
Post #141 of 210 (2827 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Of course this was briefed before flight and we had constant radio communication.

(no clue here)

Were these pilots in com? If not, could it have made a diff?


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Nov 7, 2013, 4:57 PM
Post #142 of 210 (2797 views)
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Re: [skyjames] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

skyjames wrote:
Quote:
Of course this was briefed before flight and we had constant radio communication.

(no clue here)

Were these pilots in com? If not, could it have made a diff?

Holy crap -- I hope so.

Naturally, having com makes a huge difference or at least it should.


Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

.


(This post was edited by Skydivesg on Nov 7, 2013, 6:25 PM)


akjmpplt  (D 13733)

Nov 7, 2013, 6:37 PM
Post #143 of 210 (2717 views)
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Re: [DBCOOPER] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

DBCOOPER wrote:
OJT while flying loads probably isn't the safest time or place.

But reality is that is probably how it's done.

Case in point is me. My first flight in a 182 was a checkout by a CFI/jumppilot. Second flight was hauling 4 jumpers to 3k for a hop and pop. My third flight in a 182 and second flight hauling skydivers was as trail in a formation load to alitude -- there was an experienced jumper/pilot in the plane with me to "coach" on the way up.


Swoop73  (D License)

Nov 7, 2013, 6:57 PM
Post #144 of 210 (2691 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Skydivesq, thanks for bringing a note of sanity in here. So glad everyone involved is OK. About 35 years ago at a New England DZ I was out on the strut in a 2-ship flight of 182's. We drifted over the other Cessna and I can still give a pretty accurate count of the bird droppings on the top of that wing. Fortunately somebody still in the door had the presence of mind to yell to the pilot and he slid back in position. Right on about "No cut" and never taking eyes off the lead plane. If formation flying has more incidents, we won't be able to do it much longer.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Nov 7, 2013, 7:04 PM
Post #145 of 210 (2676 views)
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Re: [DBCOOPER] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

"... OJT while flying loads probably isn't the safest time or place."

................................................................................

Agreed!
The best way to learn formation-flying is in the air force.
The second best method is with the North American Trainer Organization ... where warbird pilots learn the finer points of formating on similar military-surplus trainers: AT-6, Harvard, SNJ, T-34, T-28 Trojan, etc.
The third best method is with a shifting load of skydivers.


Scrumpot  (D License)

Nov 8, 2013, 9:25 AM
Post #146 of 210 (2252 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Since we don't and may never know the truth...

Why wouldn't we ever know the "truth"? My understanding is that both NTSB, and FAA are investigating. Don't either or, both of them at some point in time anyway, release a fairly thorough findings report?


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Nov 8, 2013, 10:05 AM
Post #147 of 210 (2208 views)
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Re: [Scrumpot] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Scrumpot wrote:
In reply to:
Since we don't and may never know the truth...

Why wouldn't we ever know the "truth"? My understanding is that both NTSB, and FAA are investigating. Don't either or, both of them at some point in time anyway, release a fairly thorough findings report?

In retrospect I think that was a bad choice of words on my part.

If the NTSB is investigating I'm certain they will uncover the facts of this incident. It will likely take months if not a year for their report.

With that much passage of time it is my belief many, if not most will have lost interest in this and the subject will become fire pit fodder.

It's my hope that those of us jumpers and pilots who are most likely to be involved in future formation loads, will learn from this event and use it to educate ourselves now and not wait for the report.

While I have my own thoughts about this event I'm making every effort to distance my posts from it. I understand the natural emotion of those who are close to this DZ, the pilots and jumpers.

It's a shame we need an incident like this to kick start a conversation that probably should have been ongoing for many years. I accept much of the blame because I've had this thought for many years and did nothing about it. It would be my preference to divest ourselves of this emotion and this event, so our minds remain receptive to the ideas of others and instead, discuss this subject with the intent of teaching and learning the best and safest way to conduct formation flights using small Cessnas.

We really need to hear from other pilots and jumpers with this knowledge.


Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

.


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Nov 8, 2013, 10:08 AM
Post #148 of 210 (2199 views)
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Re: [Scrumpot] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Scrumpot wrote:
In reply to:
Since we don't and may never know the truth...

Why wouldn't we ever know the "truth"? My understanding is that both NTSB, and FAA are investigating. Don't either or, both of them at some point in time anyway, release a fairly thorough findings report?

Yes, they will investigate and release a report. It may take over a year for the final report, but it will be thorough.
With the video from the jumpers (I've seen one on the news, I bet that there's more than one in the hands of the investigators) they will have a good amount of data to work with. But these planes don't carry data recorders.

Both pilots survived (which is a good thing) and probably had a chance to compare notes and get their story straight before they talked to the FAA. So there's a chance that what really happened won't be in the report.


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Nov 8, 2013, 11:03 AM
Post #149 of 210 (2154 views)
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Re: [wolfriverjoe] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

wolfriverjoe wrote:
Both pilots survived (which is a good thing) and probably had a chance to compare notes and get their story straight before they talked to the FAA. So there's a chance that what really happened won't be in the report.

they're both good boys/men/pilots - they will give the best and most honest report they can. Implications otherwise is not warranted.


sornyd  (D 9856)

Nov 8, 2013, 1:38 PM
Post #150 of 210 (2006 views)
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Re: [rehmwa] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't made a jump in 14 months, have a pathetic jump/year ratio, but have been on a bunch of Cessna formation loads in different parts of the country - although mostly a looong time ago. When in trail (or trail trail), I always remember looking UP and to the RIGHT at feet dangling under the fuselage of the lead Cessna. The one exception may have been Dav8 Ruckert's precursor to his Cessna 55 way attempts. I was with the Bozeman gang who flew to Issaquah in '86 (?) for 4 or 5 plane formation loads and seem to remember a V formation or 2. See Snohomish 55's

Anyway, here's another pro for trail being right: For whatever reason, the trail ended up higher and on top of the lead. If trail had started rear right and planes converged, pilot, with head close to left window, would have a longer visual of the lead out the left window. Any visual down and right is mostly obstructed by the dash and jumpers.

I believe the trail/right cons have been stated: tendency for aircraft to turn right on climbout; looking left makes glances at instruments more difficult.

Somebody should cut/paste this all together and begin a Cessna Formation Load Procedure. Preferably a pilot/jumper.

Good discussion. BTW, last Thursday I was in Duluth (across bay from Superior) and mentioned to my whuffo-wifo that I needed to get the knees back in the breeze. I told her about Skydive Superior and how it would make a fun weekend road trip from Fargo next summer. A pair from Skydive Fargo (April and that guy that follows her around) moved there earlier this year, but almost as importantly, they do FORMATION LOADS there! Timely.

Thankfull all survived. Hope we all learn something and the DZ prospers so that I can indeed do some formation loads next summer. How do you static line an old fart on a formation load? Shocked

- Dave in Fargo


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