Apr 6, 2002, 3:35 PM
Post #1 of 14
After reading april,s parachutist I wondered if soooooo many canopy flyers would have died if they would have thought to themselves,today I will try to be 10% safer in everything I do in skydiving.Been thinking about it alot today.Why do so many much more talented skydivers die?Why did I never get hurt?Maybe it,s because instead of going at skydiving at 100% everyday I tried to curb my lust for doing everything at full tilt.Yeah sure,there were days when doing 10-way when 100% get in the star fast was no big deal.Maybe I felt stronger in my youth then?Maybe now in my middle age I know my limitations better?Question,do you/we skydivers see our limitations as we grow in this,our sport?
quade (D 22635)
Apr 6, 2002, 3:50 PM
Post #2 of 14
I wanted to write something really witty about the real issue being the Seven Percent Solution, but . . . I'm not about to suggest that -all- swoopers are drug addicts.
However, they are all definately thrill seekers. As far as I can tell, that's a pretty dominate theme in this sport. And thrill seekers seek their thrills in various shades of gray from tandems to BASE to, unfortunately, folks that eventually find themselves in a bad swoop.
I know where I've drawn mine, but where do you draw the line?
It was more a safety thing than even suggesting drug use.Just think if everyone thought 10% more safely when flying a canopy in general.Not that we thrill seekers can,t allow ourselves to have fun or that we should be less than 100% percent safe all the time.It just is not real world to think we can be that way.We can try our best to avoid potential bad situations by thinking 10% more on the cautious side instead of the "GO FOR IT" mentality.
quade (D 22635)
Apr 6, 2002, 7:36 PM
Post #4 of 14
I drew it with my canopy choice - big, slow and easy. While I'd love to be swooping the grass, I know that after having back surgery one bad landing could very well be the end of my skydiving career. I'm not ready to give this up yet.
Maybe instead of saying that us with small canopies need to think safer and jump bigger stuff, we should try to educate more people on canopy flight. That would also be an improvement in safety. I love my small canopy and would not want to jump anything different. I get as much out of the landing as I do out of the free fall. I do agree that too many go beyond their limits, but lets educate them, not criticize them. Alex
People aren't told to not get in a Pitts S2 High Performance acrobatic plane. But they do get instruction. They set personal limits. Some set wider limits than others. Education and currency are key. Just as in jumping high performance canopies. Banning people from buying and flying Pitts Specials won't work. Neither will banning Velocities. I also happen to think our greatest problem is not hook turns but people who make low turns for no reason or poor decisions. For the number of those fatalities, there are many many more we don't hear about unless you're local that just got critically injured and changed for life. We must teach students basic canopy skills right from the start. We must coach them on canopy flight for more than just 7 levels of AFF. We must catch up to what is going on in the industry. Otherwise, people will just keep on buying canopies beyond their ability and drilling themselves into the ground. I saw two people (low timers: 50 and 60 jumps) land down wind yesterday. I walked up, asked how they were, and after a response of I'm ok I just slid it in I asked "Tell me about your canopy ride." Both answered about the same "Oh man, I thought I was doing everything right and then I realised I was low and going down wind so I didn't want to turn anymore so I just went straight and gave it a normal flare. Didn't even try to stand it up." I pat them on the back. Thank them for not making me watch them get busted up. And then help them dust off the mud and grass. We happily walked back to the hangar.
On the other hand, I've seen plenty of visiting jumpers on "safe" F-111 canopies drill themselves into the ground trying to turn back into the wind. One did it when he saw his buddy roll on the ground after doing a down winder (unintentionally) on a Stilleto. First guy down walked away. Second guy on the Falcon 235 turned at about 75 feet with a 180 and met the ground about the same time his canopy did. That was a mess. And he lived. Amazingly.
We need better, more consitant canopy skills training in our programs. Everyone is so worried about this ISP transition where S/L JMs and IAD JMs were grandfathered in as Instructors without showing freefall skills. More people should be outraged that NONE of our instructional ratings require you to teach canopy control on any sort of useful level.
My .02 for the morning on canopy flight.
Chris Schindler D-19012 IAD JM expired TM not complete
It comes back to individual choice.Those who will be reckless will be reckless.I like my fast little rocket,but at the same time fly it like it could kill me if I stopped paying attention.I don,t see the need to hook turn to get my thrills out of my parachute.Over the years I,ve stayed alive by letting myself think more towards the caution side of flying a parachute and learning to see the potential for a bad situation getting worse.Just a few thoughts that maybe will get more canopy pilots thinking differently about how they fly their parachutes.
What would happen if every skydiver devoted 10% of his brain cells to planning his canopy ride? Half the people who hook turn themselves into the hospital never planed to hook turn, they found themselves at low altitude without a plan. Hopefully we will grow out of the antiquated USPA notion that everything you could possibly know about canopy flight should be taught in the first jump course. Students are only going to grasp half of what is said in any lecture. The key to is to space out canopy knowledge. Teach basic canopy survival skills in the first jump course, then - over the next 24 jumps - space out a series of exercises that include stalls, front riser turns, rear riser turns, rear riser flares, angle control, etc. If every skydiver devoted 10% of his brain cells to the canopy ride, they would all walk away.
quade (D 22635)
Apr 7, 2002, 9:27 AM
Post #11 of 14
Well guys I hate to disagree with you but the stats show that the average experiece level for the skydiver that hooks it into the ground is over 1300 jumps. This came from this months parachutist. With that in mind most of them intend to make a high performance turn and somehow misjudge the altitude, or something. There really are not that many students pounding it in on low turns. In fact skydiving is doing the best it ever has in reference to injuring students. The people that jump high performace canopies are well aware of the risk involved and trade off for the enjoyment of high performance flying. While I don't like seeing anyone injured, I sure don't think that anything other then education and technology will change this. I certainly hope it never changes due to new rules or other forms of government.
USPA has already given up the idea of one shot canopy instruction. The ISP includes canopy training and practice at every level, A through H. It is up to the DZ's and instructors to practice it, which takes time and effort.
I hate to be the voice of the ISP, because it is not perfect, but a lot of critisism that I see posted here about USPA and student programs is based on outdated training that many DZ's still use out of convenience, lack of information, or just stubborness.