Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt

 

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

xavenger  (A 1)

Apr 9, 2005, 11:35 AM
Post #1 of 47 (4187 views)
Shortcut
My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt Can't Post

Hi

I've just read a thread in Incidents about a fatal low turn and much of the debate has turned to the wing loading of the jumper in question - which seems high for the number of jumps they had. There is some discussion along the lines of "should he have ever been sold the canopy" versus "his gear purchase was ultimately his decision" and it's this I want to comment on with my own experience:

I started AFF and got my A licence a week later. At about 35 jumps I went and got my own kit. I was buying new kit and my instructors recommended something to me that they reckoned would be just fine - perfect in fact. It turned out with this new kit (Odyssey with Pilot 168 main) I had a wing loading of 1.33. I didn't know this at the time and even if I had I wouldn't have known what it meant. I accepted the judgement of the guys with 1000s of jumps that this was a great bit of kit.

I had a lot of problems landing it. Oh yes. This went on for a very long time and in fact I hurt myself several times - but nothing *too* serious (though ask me again when I'm an old man!). All along my instructors, the guy that sold me the kit and practically every other person I ever encountered at dropzones all over the world told me not to worry and that I would get the hang of it. It became a bit of a "running joke" that I couldn't land the thing reliably.

My landing problems actually got progressive worse, to be honest - as I became more and more scared of landing! If youve ever been there youll know what Im talking about. There were some jumps when I was terrified of landing. I should have just stopped then and realised there was something fundamentally wrong - but, I thought all these other people must be right, I'll get the hang of it. I always just thought "I'm crap", need to get better and will get better very soon so long as I keep jumping lots.

Lot and lots of these people I mentioned tried to help me - some spending hours with me. Although there was some humorous banter about my lack of landing skills .. of course .. no one wanted to see me hurt. But you know I think a lot of them just eventually must have thought "Hmmm he's crap at this by nature" (and maybe I am!). I also went on a Scott Miller course - that was great and that helped me get a better understanding of the canopy etc, but you know, it still always felt a bit too zippy for me on landing. I didnt land it once stood up on Scott's course.

The person that sold me the kit busted a gut to help me to solve my landing problems, they spent a whole day with me one-on-one training and actually fixed my landings - they were awesome and I can't thank them enough for their time. Also, I should add that without a question of a doubt they would have taken my gear back off me and given me a refund or something different had I asked or they thought my wing loading too high. No doubts about this.

This was at about jump 130! Finally I could land the thing. Wippeee! Now, I couldn't land it every single time on my feet - maybe 4 out of 5 times - but that was a whole lot better than 1 or 2 out of 5 times. Right!? Cool. I felt like I was getting somewhere.

I then went out to Spain to jump, which was very hot and the dropzone is about 1,600 feet above sea level. The first time I'd ever jumped higher than sea level. Crikey!!! It was all of sudden very scary again. I couldn't land it properly.

I'd been there a week - had done about 40 jumps and had only landed about 10 of them on my feet, though I landed 5 in a row towards "the end". The wind conditions were practically identical on all those 40 jumps.

Then something nasty happened - I made some extremely bad decisions on jump number 200 whilst setting up for landing and my canopy just did not do at all what I expected. The wind was coming from a direction Id never landed in at that dropzone and I messed it up. Trying to avoid a fence, I landed cross wind and ploughed in to a metal pipe at leg height that, well, gave me all sorts of interesting new joints in my leg (broke it in several places). It wasn't a good day. That was July 13th last year and I havent jumped since. I'm going for some more surgery in a couple of weeks to have some of the metal taken out / tweaks.

I really made some bad decisions in the air - but in hind-sight, my wing-loading did not help matters whatsoever. This is only really clear to me now after the event.

With one exception NO ONE ever asked me what my weight or wing-loading was throughout the whole year of jumping and asking for help. It was only until I went out to Spain that someone there mentioned that he thought my wing-loading was a bit high for my jump numbers (unfortunately the accident came a few jumps later). I told lots of different people what my weight was and canopy size etc and towards the end my wing-loading itself and they just seemed to say - "yeah that sounds sort of about right - don't worry you'll get the hang of it". I am not blaming anyone, I bought the gear - I chose to press on even when it didn't feel right .. but only one person of the countless highly experienced skydivers I met and asked for their advice even seemed to think for a second that hell, the canopy might just be too fast for me.

It turned out that by the time I went out to Spain, I'd put on about 14 pounds in weight since originally buying the gear (damn all that beer and dropzone food!!) so when I had my accident my wing-loading was well over 1.4. My gear has now gone and when the time is right I am buying something at a wing-loading of 1. Hopefully I'll be able to land the damn thing.


What's my point? You know Im not really sure there is one now sorry ;-) Ok, I suppose its that I don't think as many people as you might think consider wing-loading whatsoever when making gear decisions. Either because they don't know what it is until it's too late or if they do they just listen to the advice of their peers - which may not actually be that great, or that their peers/instructors are so confident in their student that they give them something a little nippier than normal to grow in to.

My other point is - if ever you are so scared of landing you're canopy that it gets to the stage where it clouds your thought, just stop jumping. It doesn't matter if other people keep on telling you that you'll get the hang of it .. if it really seems like you're not, don't do what I did and keep on going because you may get hurt. I saw a post on here months ago that said "listen to the voices" inside .. I wish I had more.

Hope to jump with some of you again in several months - I'll be the guy with the 500 sq foot canopy ;-)

regards

James


piisfish

Apr 9, 2005, 12:00 PM
Post #2 of 47 (4136 views)
Shortcut
Re: [xavenger] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

thanks for posting that. Scary that you were quite incitated to get sug a canopy and never was told to taka a step back.

sorry you learnt the hard way. Hope you will have lots of pleasure with a lower wingloading.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Apr 9, 2005, 8:25 PM
Post #3 of 47 (4019 views)
Shortcut
Re: [xavenger] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry you got steered wrong on your gear, and I hope you get all healed up. I think your post might help some other new jumpers make some better choices when buying their first rig. Thanks for writing.


Orange1  (B License)

Apr 10, 2005, 4:48 AM
Post #4 of 47 (3956 views)
Shortcut
Re: [xavenger] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for posting that.
I'm about to start thinking about my own gear and - mainly thanks to DZ com threads in general and specific posts like this - am acutely aware of the wingloading issue!
I don't mind babysteps and will probably have a w/l of 0.7-0.8 on my first canopy - which will still probably feel way different from my student canopy given that my wingloading on that is around 0.5 Crazy


MarkM  (C 35089)

Apr 10, 2005, 10:51 AM
Post #5 of 47 (3879 views)
Shortcut
Re: [xavenger] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
My landing problems actually got progressive worse, to be honest - as I became more and more scared of landing! If youve ever been there youll know what Im talking about. There were some jumps when I was terrified of landing.

I've had that a few times, especially after I boffed in a landing once. It's pretty sad that when you're getting on the plane you're not scared of the parachute not working, you're nervous about landing under a perfectly good one.

When I bought my container 2 years back it was based on suggestions of "you'll get bored of a 150 pretty quick and move down to a 135". I ain't bored of the 150, won't be any time soon, and now I get to spend the next 2 years packing a 150 into a container that better fits a 135.


mailin  (A 46883)

Apr 10, 2005, 7:40 PM
Post #6 of 47 (3790 views)
Shortcut
Re: [MarkM] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
It's pretty sad that when you're getting on the plane you're not scared of the parachute not working, you're nervous about landing under a perfectly good one.


Yep. Unimpressed

I hope 'practice makes perfect' doesn't also mean 'pain is the best teacher' *rubs sore shoulder*

Jen


btucker  (E 1974)

Apr 11, 2005, 4:11 AM
Post #7 of 47 (3736 views)
Shortcut
Re: [xavenger] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

good post, ta for sharing. I think people forget what it's like to be new in the sport. As I embarke on a long journey to start instructing, it's nice to be reminded.

Just out of intereset, How big was the reserve in your Odyssey?

Heal fast!


xavenger  (A 1)

Apr 11, 2005, 4:40 AM
Post #8 of 47 (3722 views)
Shortcut
Re: [btucker] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

The reserve was a Smart 160 (1.48 lbs/ft). <gulp>

I know, I know, it doesn't bear thinking about.

J


heftee  (D 27090)

Apr 11, 2005, 1:17 PM
Post #9 of 47 (3622 views)
Shortcut
Re: [xavenger] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for posting. You know, you made a really good point in regards to WL that some may not think about. Some who are really good about considering WL at the time of purchasing gear don't go back and evaluate that WL as it changes. I'm not referring to when we change canopies. I'm referring to when we gain weight. Just because we make a good decision on WL to begin with doesn't mean we're good to go all the way until we decide to change canopies.
I had this happen to me as well.
I started on a 145 sqft canopy at jump # 31 out of student status. I jumped that for around 300 jumps before going to a 135. During the next 100+ jumps (and some before that), I gained weight - a LOT of weight. So, my WL went higher and higher. I had not realized it or given it much thought. I wasn't landing so well and would justify my 135 by saying "I've been jumping a 145 since # 31, this isn't much smaller". Unsure
It wasn't until our DZ put a scale out in the loading area and MADE each and every person weigh themselves before getting on the plane. I shouldn't have gotten on the plane after I saw that number on the scale!

Again, WL a huge consideration when getting a new or different canopy - but ALSO when your body weight changes - it's time to re-evaluate that once good decision.

Thanks for your post and your candid honesty about your landing problems.

PS - When you come back, start large and work on your confidence. It will come back. Best of luck to you!


Flyexis  (Student)

Apr 13, 2005, 9:54 PM
Post #10 of 47 (3484 views)
Shortcut
Re: [xavenger] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey !! Im a skydiver in Mexico, looking to buy my first kit... I had in mind a 170.. I weight about 220 (currently on diet je je) I have about 60 jumps, although my learning has been great in the sport, and it looks as if im a natural cannopy flyer, some instructors recommend to start with a 190...and my instructor, which I did my AFF with, thinks I could handle the 170 perfectly... Im kind of undecided... the other thing is buying the 190 and after 50 jumps feeling its kind of "slow"... [:|] bummer !
Anyway, advice like this is allways helpful.. now Im more confused !! je je.. get well soon !!


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

Apr 13, 2005, 9:59 PM
Post #11 of 47 (3481 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Flyexis] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

I've kept reading that it's always best to err on the side of caution. At the very least, talk to several professionals. I bet one of the professionals will tell you to go for the bigger one.

You might be too volatile right now (changing weight + changing experience) and might want to consider options such as renting the bigger size temporarily. (if still recommended by many professionals).

Don't make rash decisions, I'd think it is safer to own a canopy for only 50 jumps and then resell it, to upgrade. (Better yet, fly it until you're fully proficient with that particular canopy, before upgrading.)

(Take me with a grain of salt of course, I am a student. The professionals will be very happy to correct me)


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on Apr 13, 2005, 10:02 PM)


Flyexis  (Student)

Apr 13, 2005, 10:27 PM
Post #12 of 47 (3472 views)
Shortcut
Re: [mdrejhon] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeeee... I do agree... safety comes first... Ill defenetly have to ask more professionals about this... I forgot what the equation is to get the WL .. anyone?? anyone?? Thanks 4 opinion..

Readers... appreciate more advice on the subject..


NWPoul  (D 178119)

Apr 14, 2005, 1:21 AM
Post #13 of 47 (3452 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Flyexis] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

WL = your exit weight in lbs (you and all yours stuff Cool ) / your canopy area in sq.feet
usually exit weight can be calculated as your weigt plus ~22 lbs
So if 220 lbs is your own weight and your canopy is 170th, than your WL 220+22/170 = ~ 1.42...hmm Blush (IMHO )

also see:
http://www.dropzone.com/...ator_wing_load.shtml

P.S. what exactly canopy you are going to buy?


(This post was edited by NWPoul on Apr 14, 2005, 1:24 AM)


MarkM  (C 35089)

Apr 14, 2005, 7:05 AM
Post #14 of 47 (3418 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Flyexis] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Yeeee... I do agree... safety comes first... Ill defenetly have to ask more professionals about this... I forgot what the equation is to get the WL .. anyone?? anyone?? Thanks 4 opinion..

It's just not safety, it's also comfort and flying something that will best teach you. You can end up in a situation where you're scared of your canopy and instead of learning to land, you learn how to do controlled crashes.


udder  (A License)

Apr 17, 2005, 12:39 AM
Post #15 of 47 (3331 views)
Shortcut
Re: [MarkM] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

Howdy all

Is a loading of 1.1-1.15 too high for a first canopy. DZ is at sea level. I was thinking of something like an omega or triathlon 170/175.


Flyexis  (Student)

Apr 17, 2005, 7:52 AM
Post #16 of 47 (3307 views)
Shortcut
Re: [NWPoul] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks 4 answering... so my WL is 1.42... im sky diving at sea level... then again my WL is 1.42 is it too much?? were talking about a sabre 2 170, with few jumps...
I talked again to my good FRIEND and instructor about cannopy size, he insists that 170 is fast, yes, but he knows the way I fly, and land, and defenetly recomends 170... I know he wants the best 4 me... Im proud 2 say that I was his first student in Los Cabos, I consider him a great instructor, and know that he would not let me fly a size I wasnt ready 4... "if you messed up in landing with a 170, or a 190... the crash would be as (sorry my french) fucked up in either one" ...
To tell the truth.. Ive made my mind and looking forward to make a deal with a seller... sabre 2 170 few jumps, nice colors... and always be concious about safety... but still open for advice... and by the way... come visit.. incredible place 2 fly !!!
skydiveelsol.com


hookitt  (D License)

Apr 17, 2005, 10:53 AM
Post #17 of 47 (3290 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Flyexis] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

If you have as few jumps as listed in your profile, your instructor is wrong. The 170 is too small for you.


Good luck

Tim


xavenger  (A 1)

Apr 18, 2005, 12:02 AM
Post #18 of 47 (3244 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Flyexis] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

Flyexis

One of the reasons I ended up with gear that was TOO FAST for me is because my instructors thought I "was a natural canopy pilot" and because they knew I was going to be jumping a lot that year thought I would master the new canopy quickly.

Their assumptions were wrong. (Also, as it happens they never actually worked out the wing-loading and neither did I because I didn't really know what it was and how it effected flight)

You may be different to me, sure - you may have a much greater natural ability. But you may NOT and if not - the risk of hurting yourself like I did is probably **significantly** greater on the 170 than the 190.

Go with the slower canopy, what's the rush?

Did you actually read my original post at all???

J


(This post was edited by xavenger on Apr 18, 2005, 12:09 AM)


NWPoul  (D 178119)

Apr 18, 2005, 12:49 AM
Post #19 of 47 (3223 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Flyexis] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Thanks 4 answering... so my WL is 1.42... im sky diving at sea level... then again my WL is 1.42 is it too much?? were talking about a sabre 2 170, with few jumps...
Well I haven't enought expirience to give advise, but I think that WL 1.42 would be too much for me...


livetofly  (A License)

Apr 18, 2005, 1:04 AM
Post #20 of 47 (3224 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Flyexis] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

"if you messed up in landing with a 170, or a 190... the crash would be as (sorry my french) fucked up in either one" ...


Keep in mind however, its not just the landing that can present problems with a smaller canopy. trying to avoid obstacles close to the ground on a small highly loaded canopy can put you right into the ground, you never know what you might have to avoid to land, especially if the spot is bad and you have to land off the drop zone. My first canopy at about 50 jumps was a 150 stilleto at 1.1. My instructors were confident in my ability to jump it as well. luckily while i was learning on it i never had any reason to turn low. However, just a few weeks ago i was cut off by a student jumper and had to flare turn at landing. Had that happend at 50 jumps, i probably would have gone splat. If you go with the smaller canopy i'd land well away from other jumpers, stay on your DZ, always pull high enough to make sure you can get back to the drop zone and can set up a good base/final, the last thing you want is to find yourself about to land down wind, but on a canopy loaded that high you cant be turning 180s low, be straight in at least at 400 and get good practice up high with flat turns and slow flight. Pretend someone just cut you off and avoid them. then see how much altitude you lost. Anyone correct me if i'm wrong but i think the saber2 is slightly eliptical unlike the saber, so its gonna dive. Know how those rear risers react too. THere gonna be really touchy and steering line can break so you may have to land with them. So just becareful and no low turns. Theres definelly more experienced people here to talk to but coming from somone who went to a smaller canopy too soon and is still learning on every jump, those are some things that i found usefull. Have fun, be safe


Flyexis  (Student)

Apr 18, 2005, 12:37 PM
Post #21 of 47 (3168 views)
Shortcut
Re: [xavenger] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Xavenger !! what up?? hope ure doing better an soon flying... I did read your original post... and I defenetly understand everything thats being said... not only is my instructors opinion based on how he sees me fly, but on the DZ conditions, big landing area, sand, and no obstacles... there really not a lot of flyers, the most fun jumpers in a dive are 4 flyers... and I really dont think on going to another DZ any time soon... talking to other instructors, they thought theres not really a lot of diference between a 170 - 190... Ive been jumping a 190 but its not cero P.. so its not as fast... and always had good landings... by the time I start jumping the new cannopy... Ill have about 120 jumps... so its really not right away... I apreciate your reply, and enjoy reading everybodys opinion...
still here ... good flying everyone !!


Premier Remster  (C License)

Apr 18, 2005, 12:55 PM
Post #22 of 47 (3158 views)
Shortcut
Re: [NWPoul] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
220+22/170

22 lbs is really low... I was using 25 as a rule of thumb, then weight myself nakkid and then in full gear: it was 30 lbs. I have an avg size main and reserve (150 and 181 respectively). I'd suggest unless you actually get on a scale with all your stuff that you use a larger number.


Premier Remster  (C License)

Apr 18, 2005, 1:02 PM
Post #23 of 47 (3155 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Flyexis] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

We can only work on general recommendations here... Talking with reputable instructors and asking around the people who know you is a better bet (though it wasnt to good for the initial poster...)

The big rule of thumb is, under 100 jumps: not to exceed 1.0; 100 to 200: 1.1; 200 to 300: 1.2; 300 to 400: 1.4; 400 to 500: 1.5

So, if you weight 220, adding 30 lbs of reat, I would say looking for a canopy in the 230 to 250 range would be a reasonable target at about 100 jumps. I would say a 210 might be OK, but know knowing you, its not a call that anyone here could make. 190 or 170 gets pretty damm aggressive.


Flyexis  (Student)

Apr 19, 2005, 12:12 PM
Post #24 of 47 (3067 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Remster] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

"220 pounds WL 1.4 to much !! "
to you and other involved readers... I didnt have the exact convertion from kilos 2 pounds, NOT 220 pounds ..currently 176.368 pounds or 80 kilos so WL is 1.2... used 30 pound figure for gear... much better huh ??
Keep on flying !!
Flyexis


Designer  (D 5771)

Apr 20, 2005, 7:56 AM
Post #25 of 47 (2993 views)
Shortcut
Re: [xavenger] My 1st canopy was loaded at 1.33 and it hurt [In reply to] Can't Post

If you understand the fundamentals of flight(this includes parachute flight)most landing problems are just a result of not being current enough.I try not to laugh when I see some of the landings I see from A-D license holders.When an A license holder makes a mistake I try to find out what is going on.When a D license holder makes a mistake it is usually "Showing off".Wing loading is important!Learning fundamentals of parachute flight should happen in 1.0-1.1 loadings or lower.Think if you ask anyone of the guys who teach the canopy control classes they will tell you this.It doesn't take much for things to go wrong.Questionable conditions,landing near other objects or other people trying to land pose interesting problems that the low experience pilot may not be ready to handle.Be careful and maybe you should go back to 1.0?


First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Skydiving : Safety and Training

 


Search for (options)