Apr 1, 2005, 9:30 PM
Post #1 of 14
For those that have done it I would like to know what type canopy you used and what your wing load was.
I'm interested in ground launching and want to get into it for those days the DZ is closed. I understand from my searches that some canopies are better suited than others i.e. square vs. semi-elliptical vs. full-elliptical and that a higher wing load is an important factor 1.2 and higher.
The canopy I currently have is a Hornet 170 loaded at 1.2 but am looking to down size in the near future to a Safire2 139 loaded at just under 1.5. I have weight but that will only bring my current canopy up from 1.2 to 1.3 wing load.
What about wind? Is there an ideal wind speed and one that is to high.
next to my house is a paragliding training hill. i have tried a couple of times. i am by no means any good at it but you have to have a good feel for your rear risers and swapping to your toggles finding a good site is probably the hardest thing to do. n.z. aerosports has a ground launching canopy my friend has one he is about 80kg and his is a 130.
let us know how you go it is so much fun and you will get very fit running back up the hill.
Payback462, you represent Everything wrong with dropzone.com/ uspa/ and the skydiving community. Go somewhere where your pathetic comments mean something. Thats ubsurd to say. Instead of offering to save a jumper's life with useful advice, you advice him to dig his grave. Grow Up.
To the poster.
I have explored ground lauching and other forms of ground launched flight for some time now. I have not been able to ground launch the triathlon due to not being able to find a safe and acceptable location in close proximity to my place, But
before you take any canopy down a hill, there are education investigations that you should consider..
1) If you can take part of a paraglider first flight course, or talk to a paraglider instrucutor.
This will make your attempts with ground launching safer,
2) Understand your take off/ landing areas. Know all hazords, outs, and of course, where you could mistakenly end up..
3) Talk to a local paragliding or hangliding club. Many states with launchable areas will have clubs that specific clubs use or own.. these can be used and generally is safer than doing the 'run onto a farmer's hill, and begone before the police come' stunt.
Though i have never perosnally grounded launched (my place is a good 3 hours away), from lots of education i know its important to understand canopy and flight theory, as well as the theories involved with paragliding.
This is just what i have learned.. oh and the proper wing loadings are from what i understand (feel free to correct me if i am wrong) 1.2 to 1.5, with a "flatter" glide canopy.
I thank you for your info and most of what you said I have already read myself. I never did think about asking someone who paraglides so thinks for bringing that to mind. I can't think of anyone in the area or having seen anyone in my area paragliding or hangliding.
Talking to a member of team Xoas this weekend who does ground launching about this subject he said 1.2 -1.5 wing load is good but a wind of about 10 mph is needed to get the canopy up and kiting. A flat gliding canopy is preferred or else you will need to find some steep hills.
The area I live we have several hills ranges that are from a couple hundred feet to one thats 3,500 feet. The best part is most of the areas I have looked at have farm roads leading to the tops so no hiking.
I don't want to discourage you from Ground Launching. But I do want to ensure that you're aware of the risks of the sport. To a lot of people in skydiving, they have trouble flying their canopy at the safer confines of the drop zone let alone in the back country environment. This is an activity where you will (depending on the site) likely need to be landing on a sloped hill, with rocks and other bone breaking obstacles. At 300 jumps, I'm not sure I would want to be Ground Launching. But I don't want to judge you as I've never seen you fly your canopy and who knows maybe you actually do it very well (I see that you have some CReW experience and that is a step in the right direction). I just want you to know that Ground Launching (while ever so fun), is not a safe activity and can sort of be compared to a wingsuit BASE jump (also not a safe activity). You are basically launching into the unknown when you launch off of a site which you've never launched off before and WX changes have a way of adding to the spice in all of this.
As far as which canopy works best, well Jim and Dwain out in CA have engineered a new GLX canopy geared towards Ground Launching and this currently is the best tool for the job. But it is not cheap and it can not be used in the skydiving environment. Different canopies will perform differently depending upon the slope you are launching from and the type of winds you are experiencing (plus the wing loading will also effect your success and/or failure). I've launched a Spectre 150 (loaded about 1.3:1) and a Crossfire2 139 and currently own a Samurai 136 which was purchased as my interim GL canopy until I could justify buying a GLX. I've only done some practice launches with my Samurai, but all indications are that it is an awesome canopy for the job. Plus there is no reason why a Saffire2 couldn't be a good GL canopy for you.
Also, it is possible to launch in zero wind conditions, but it is not easy and you've got to do more running (or have a steep slope). 8-12 mph winds are likely the best winds to launch in, but a lot has to do with the slope of the site as well as which canopy you use (not only wing loading, but open nose good for zero wind launches versus close nose good for higher wind launches). Plus, when the winds start getting up there, you really need to attempt to kite your canopy out of your harness first. If you can't kite it out of the harness, then you have no business being in the harness.
Finally if you really are serious about getting into this sport. I would consult the more knowledgeable people out there (Jim and Dwain come to mind, but there are others) and get some one on one coaching in this area. There is no way in hell that we can properly teach you launch techniques on the internet and you surely don't want to do the old "trial by error" route in the sport of Ground Launching. Plus while I can't speak for anyone other than myself, I would take baby steps in this sport instead of looking for the biggest bad ass hill you can find. All it takes is one moment of lapse judgment to end it all. Ground Launching is a lot of fun. But it sure isn't safe.
PS: http://www.canopypiloting.com has a forum similar to DZ.COM and in there guys like Jim and Steve (aka Lightfoot who used to be ManBird) can often be seen there and these guys are a lot more active in the sport than I am right now.
Good luck ... have fun ... but be smart.
(This post was edited by CanuckInUSA on Apr 4, 2005, 7:27 PM)
Instead of offering to save a jumper's life with useful advice
been there, tried that, and if they want it bad enough, they never listen. i didnt when i was in a similar (not as drastic, but looking back at it, a little scary) situation. i got lucky and didnt hurt myself.
sorry if my post sounded harsh, or everything wrong with the world, but im pretty sure meatbombs who think theyre special little flowers frapping themselves in left and right on canopys that, even though the manufacturers say is way above their experience level, they think theyll be ok. are doing a whole lot worse for our sport then a sarcastic, slightly bitter post on dz.com
just also wanted to clarify that i was commenting only on the w/l progression, not on ground launching, i dont like to give out advice on something that ive never done, but reasearched a lot on the internet.
I thank you for your advice, you have given a lot of good information. I have to agree that GL is not as easy as it looks and with 300 jumps you are right I should not just go rushing into this. That is why I have posted to learn what everyone has to say.
Again I'm interested and do not plan on going out and to GL anytime soon. You have to learn to crawl before you can run the mile. I will start with learning to kite my canopy for now.
Payback462- I to have known people who didn't heed the warnings of others. So read my post again any you will see I'm only interested and have looked to see what is in my area for possibilities. So talk to someone first if you think there getting in over there head before you say F@#% them next time.
I went ground launching yesterday for pretty the first time. I tried it once before but only got like 5 seconds. It was a small hill. I also have a hornet 170 and am loaded at 1.2.
Anyways, I'm in South Africa and went off this bushy hill that gets really steep. The wind was about 5mph coming straight up the hill. Conditions were perfect. I got some friends to lay out the canopy so to get the cells inflated asap. I ran and got it up with the brakes all the way up. Then at the ledge I pushed the toggles a little past half brakes, took of and began flying. Soon after I let the brakes up to half brakes. I had about 25 seconds! It was awesome. I crash landed into these soft bushes. It was really fun. Do try it but sure the winds are not gusty and not to strong.