Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
1:1 unsafe wing loading?

 

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Jessica  (B 25202)

May 4, 2002, 3:10 PM
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1:1 unsafe wing loading? Can't Post

My canopy, a PD 170, has little wind penetration and tired flare, and I'm planning to buy a new Hornet this summer. I was going to get a 150, which I'd be loading at just about 1:1.

I just finished reading the incident reports in Parachutist this month, and they blame one of the fatalities on a woman's loading a Sabre 150 at .9:1(!!!).

"Some might consider her wing loading conservative," the report says, "but smaller canopies respond more quickly to control input than larger ones at the same wing loading."

Thoughts?

Taking nominations for new screen name.


freeflir29  (D 10000000)

May 4, 2002, 3:32 PM
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Re: 1:1 unsafe wing loading? [In reply to] Can't Post

ANY canopy will hurt you if you do something stupid. I saw the assistant commander of the 82nd Airborne division break his pelvis in 3 places under a 220. He only weighs about 165 pounds but when you're executing a 360 toggle turn into the ground it's probably going to hurt. Smile
I think 1:1 is a nice conservative loading. Just remember...don't do stupid things and your chances of getting hurt will stay much lower. Wink

"It's all about the BOOBIES!"


Hooknswoop  (D License)

May 4, 2002, 4:35 PM
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Re: 1:1 unsafe wing loading? [In reply to] Can't Post

What they are saying is that a 100 sq ft canopy loaded at 1.0:1 will out perform a 200 sq ft canopy loaded at 1.0:1, all other things being equal. The performance graph is not a straight line.

Hook



Jessica  (B 25202)

May 4, 2002, 4:46 PM
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Re: 1:1 unsafe wing loading? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The performance graph is not a straight line.
Yep, that I knew, cause I think we've even discussed it around here. My question is...with the added performance of a smaller canopy, does that make even a 1:1 loading under a 150 sq ft or smaller canopy unsafe for a low-time jumper? Parachutist was certainly implying that it does.

Taking nominations for new screen name.


Hooknswoop  (D License)

May 4, 2002, 4:53 PM
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Re: 1:1 unsafe wing loading? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have taught student using 0-P 9 cell mains loaded at between .9:1 and 1.2:1 and in 700+ jumps not one of my student had a landing injury, (had a couple get the hell knocked out of them on opening though). This was made possible though focused canopy training on 3 tandem jumps, a class that strongly emphasised canopy control, pre-briefs that included canopy control instruction, and paying very careful attention while on the radio talking them down.

So is it unsafe?, it can be, but if handled properly, it can also be safe.

Hook



rgoper  (C 32349)

May 4, 2002, 6:17 PM
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Re: 1:1 unsafe wing loading? [In reply to] Can't Post

**My canopy, a PD 170, has little wind penetration and tired flare, and I'm planning to buy a new Hornet this summer. I was going to get a 150, which I'd be loading at just about 1:1**

i'd be just as concerned about being "under loaded, as being overloaded" with a higher "wing" you'll certainly obtain better penetration, and the hornet is a good transition canopy. your 1.1 in my opinion, is still conservative, just do your hop-n-pops at altitude to learn your new canopy's chacteristics Smile







Richard

"Gravity Is My Friend"



SkydiveMonkey  (B 102345)

May 4, 2002, 11:45 PM
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Re: 1:1 unsafe wing loading? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've got a hornet 170 @ 1.2 and was jumping it yesterday in zero winds (only jumped it once after that). I came in quick, but every landing was perfect, although the length of the swoop was a little scary cos I'm not used to jumping in no winds, especially as this is the smallest canopy I've jumped.

When I grow up, I want to be a post whore


rhino  (D 22500)

May 5, 2002, 10:03 AM
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Re: 1:1 unsafe wing loading? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think canopy school SHOULD become mandentory for students. Not enough focus is placed on landing canopies in AFF..

I think it would be a GREAT addition to the course anyways.

Blue Skies ..... Wink



GrumpySmurf  (C 32988)

May 5, 2002, 4:09 PM
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Re: 1:1 unsafe wing loading? [In reply to] Can't Post

When in doubt, go ask your former instructor(s), one would hope they can judge how you land, what your ability is to stay ahead of the canopy, and how likely you are to try something stupid.
Very few of us here have seen you land, even fewer still are capable of rendering objective advice.



Jessica  (B 25202)

May 5, 2002, 4:30 PM
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Re: 1:1 unsafe wing loading? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
When in doubt, go ask your former instructor(s)
They say to get a 150. Pretty much everyone says to get a 150. I'm just trying to gather information to make the best decision, and also bringing up this bold statement in Parachutist that a .9:1 loading is unsafe under a smaller canopy.

Taking nominations for new screen name.


KATO33  (C 33806)

May 5, 2002, 4:34 PM
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In reply to:
I think canopy school SHOULD become mandentory for students. Not enough focus is placed on landing canopies in AFF..

I think it would be a GREAT addition to the course anyways.
I Agree it seems more ppl get hurt or killed under perfectly good canopies as opposed to freefall collisions. I dont have the stats. to prove it but it just seems that way to me.



freeflir29  (D 10000000)

May 5, 2002, 5:21 PM
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In reply to:
I dont have the stats

Last one I saw was 38% Largest single cause of skydiving deaths.

"It's all about the BOOBIES!"


fred  (A 44905)

May 5, 2002, 8:35 PM
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Re: 1:1 unsafe wing loading? [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course, how many of those deaths were students or even A license jumpers? From what I recall from the report, most deaths were "experienced" jumpers making mistakes on a hook turn.




Beachbum  (B License)

May 5, 2002, 9:13 PM
Post #14 of 34 (3450 views)
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Re: 1:1 unsafe wing loading? [In reply to] Can't Post

I read the same thing and it also caught my attention. I'm only 145 lbs., so had similar problems with lack of drive into any wind on student gear (smallest canopy they had was a 215) ... even landed backing up twice, so I was very eager to get my own gear. After talking it over with JM's and just about everyone else I had much faith in the opinion of, I got a Triathlon 160, and have found it much easier to get good landings with than the larger canopies. Yes, it WILL turn much quicker, etc. (and is also a whole lot more fun to fly!) ... but I agree with one of the other posts ... (something I feel applies to ALL canopies) I think that as long as you don't freak and do something stupid, you ought to be fine at 1:1. I did a lot of high pulls and playing with it the first few jumps on it and so far at least, I'm quite happy that I did go down to 1:1. To me it's more a matter of recognizing your limits and not pushing them TOO much at one time (have to push them some to learn!).

As long as you are happy with yourself ... who cares what the rest of the world thinks?


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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May 5, 2002, 9:51 PM
Post #15 of 34 (3445 views)
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Re: 1:1 unsafe wing loading? [In reply to] Can't Post

>i'd be just as concerned about being "under loaded, as being overloaded"

I think this is poor advice. Underloading does not cause problems with any canopies unless it's severe (below .5 to 1 or so) - overloading them for someone's experience level can be fatal. I saw one such near-fatality this weekend which would not have occurred had be been jumping a larger canopy.

> with a higher "wing" you'll certainly obtain better penetration,

Quite true. You will also get better planeouts and faster turns. Very few people die because they cannot get enough penetration, their canopy does not surf enough, or their canopy does not turn quickly enough.

>your 1.1 in my opinion, is still conservative, just do your hop-n-pops at altitude
>to learn your new canopy's chacteristics.

Doing spirals at altitude does very little to teach you how to land a canopy. Good training and actual experience at landing a canopy does.

-bill von


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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May 5, 2002, 9:54 PM
Post #16 of 34 (3445 views)
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Re: 1:1 unsafe wing loading? [In reply to] Can't Post

>and also bringing up this bold statement in Parachutist that a .9:1
>loading is unsafe under a smaller canopy.

If you get the opportunity, try to get to one of John Leblanc's talks. He covers this issue. Basically, a 1:1 loaded Sabre 120 is a completely different animal than a 1:1 loaded Sabre 190. Most light jumpers are happier at lighter loadings because the smaller canopies are inherently more manueverable, even at the same loading.


-bill von


Jimbo  (D License)

May 6, 2002, 9:54 AM
Post #17 of 34 (3398 views)
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In reply to:
I saw one such near-fatality this weekend which would not have occurred had be been jumping a larger canopy.
I don't buy that. Are you absolutely certain that a larger canopy would have prevented this incident? It couldn't have been something as simple as operator error, could it?

I realize that not everyone should be flying a highly loaded high performance canopy, but unless the canopy simply didn't do its job, or failed in a structural way then let's shift the blame for this accident off of the canopy and back onto the jumper where it belongs.

-
Jim



hooknswoop  (D License)

May 6, 2002, 9:57 AM
Post #18 of 34 (3395 views)
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Re: 1:1 unsafe wing loading? [In reply to] Can't Post

"I saw one such near-fatality this weekend which would not have occurred had be been jumping a larger canopy.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't buy that. Are you absolutely certain that a larger canopy would have prevented this incident? It couldn't have been something as simple as operator error, could it?

I realize that not everyone should be flying a highly loaded high performance canopy, but unless the canopy simply didn't do its job, or failed in a structural way then let's shift the blame for this accident off of the canopy and back onto the jumper where it belongs."

I don't think Bill was blaming the canopy, I think he was saying that had the jumper chosen a larger canopy than he did, the results wouldn't have been as bad or been avoided all togther.

Hook




Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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May 6, 2002, 1:53 PM
Post #19 of 34 (3382 views)
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Re: 1:1 unsafe wing loading? [In reply to] Can't Post

>I don't buy that. Are you absolutely certain that a larger canopy
>would have prevented this incident?

Yes. Under a Triathalon 220, it would have been a non incident. Under a Sabre 170, it would probably have been painful but not required an ambulance trip.

>It couldn't have been something as simple as operator error, could it?

Of course it was operator error! In this case, his error began before he ever got on the plane - he decided to use a canopy he did not have the experience or training to fly. As in most accidents, his injury was the result of a string of several mistakes, and pulling down the front riser below 100 feet was just the last in the series of mistakes.

>I realize that not everyone should be flying a highly loaded
>high performance canopy, but unless the canopy simply didn't
>do its job, or failed in a structural way then let's shift
>the blame for this accident off of the canopy and back
>onto the jumper where it belongs.

I did not intend anything else. He is 100% responsible for his canopy selection, his choice of training, and his actions under canopy. From what I saw, the canopy did exactly what it was told to do, and dove for the ground when he pulled on the front riser. You can't blame a canopy for doing what you tell it to do.


-bill von


GrumpySmurf  (C 32988)

May 6, 2002, 3:45 PM
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Bad habits that started early?




GrumpySmurf  (C 32988)

May 6, 2002, 3:56 PM
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Simple philosophy our sport could use:
When in doubt, DON'T!

If you hesitant because you are trying be as cautious as possible, maybe get an instructor to put you back on the radio for the first few jumps. There are a series of exercises you need to do up high when trying any new canopy out - all the manuevers that could either kill you or save you - including hard spirals, flare turns, braked turns, rear riser flares, along with feeling out the flare. Then make sure to land it in moderate and no winds, can you stand it up - could you butt slide it if there was a 15 mph wind at your back as well?

Basically, do you control the canopy or does the canopy control you?

Try to work out how much altitude you lose in a turn, and how low you can make a turn to final, how deep in brakes you could ride but have enough power left to flare and not hurt yourself. It isn't small canopies that kill, it's inexperienced jumpers (or experienced ones) making stupid mistakes that could have been avoided by planning a few seconds ahead and keeping thier eyes open - one of the Golden Rules is - 'Stay ahead of the jump' - including the canopy ride. The problem is that the in-experienced jumpers such don't have the situational awareness to stay ahead of the smaller faster mains nor the experience to recover from a mistake. The more experienced folk sometimes forget to continue to respect the main and that it can kill them if they let.
Sorry if I sound like a 100 jump wonder being preachy, this is all the stuff I am learning in the search for my next main Frown
My $0.02 and I doubt it's worth that much. Smile



Jessica  (B 25202)

May 6, 2002, 3:58 PM
Post #22 of 34 (3358 views)
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In reply to:
If you get the opportunity, try to get to one of John Leblanc's talks. He covers this issue.
If he's at Rantoul, I will. I'll even try to stay relatively sober.

In reply to:
Very few people die because they cannot get enough penetration, their canopy does not surf enough, or their canopy does not turn quickly enough.
This is interesting. Everyone knows I'm not interested in being a badass canopy pilot. Lord, I'd be happy to stand them up consistantly.

My last jump this weekend confused me even more re: this issue.

Under my lightly loaded PD 170, I turned into the (pretty mild) wind, and lost almost all my forward movement. That dropped me straight into a mesquite tree field. BAD. Might not have happened under a canopy with better penetration.

I landed crosswind to avoid a fence, and PLFed pretty hard. Hopped right back up, totally unhurt. GOOD. Might not have happened under a quicker canopy.

So I'm pretty confused.

Taking nominations for new screen name.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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May 6, 2002, 6:03 PM
Post #23 of 34 (3346 views)
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>I landed crosswind to avoid a fence, and PLFed pretty hard. Hopped right back
> up, totally unhurt. GOOD. Might not have happened under a quicker canopy.

A friend of mine did exactly the same thing under a much higher loaded canopy - she turned to avoid a fence. Result: broken pelvis. The drawback of a large canopy is that you may land out; the benefit is that your stories will tend to end with "Hopped right back up, totally unhurt."

-bill von


rgoper  (C 32349)

May 6, 2002, 7:02 PM
Post #24 of 34 (3336 views)
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i'm fixing to purchase a new cobalt, BUT, i will not be downsizing to a 150, i'll stay with the 170 to keep my same "wing" you don't really have to downsize to get increased performance, in my opinion through the research i've done so far. the hornet being semi-elipitical, and the cobalt being fully elipitical should help me achieve my objective. Smile






Richard

"Gravity Is My Friend"



Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
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May 6, 2002, 7:31 PM
Post #25 of 34 (3328 views)
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Shes jumped my Cobalt 150 with landings that were pretty good for a low wind day. I was seeing more experienced people having more problems then she was. She don't need a more agressive canopy design, a 7-10 mph wind had her stopped coming down under her 170.

If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will....


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