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Going the way of the dodo: PLF

 

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mdrejhon  (C 3268)

May 16, 2005, 3:17 PM
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Going the way of the dodo: PLF Can't Post

(Most readers know this, but just in case. PLF = Parachute Landing Fall, typically taught for an AFF-1 jump)

With all the easy standup landings with some big student canopies with big square reserves, some dropzones no longer teach PLF. An example is the tandem progression that crosses over to an "AFF-style" program (PFF, AFF, FFP, or whatever), commonly used in North America, skipping the AFF-1 requirement of a PLF. This obviously varies from program to program and country to country.

I had always known it was an old carryover from the round canopy days, but decided to learn them anyway after rereading EP's many times and was bored during "wind hold" in previous weekends and this weekend.

I know PLF is a "not essential but good to know" item, helpful during emergencies such as malfunctions, severe errors, etc. Many people have never done a PLF before, and PLF seems to be going the way of the dodo.

A very helpful instructor who watched me, helped correct some of the errors I made during PLF. Based on what I now know, I believe my previous 2 foot PLF's from a picnic table seat went fine, but nobody was watching, so I may even have errored on those (nobody will ever know). Then I knew I screwed up a higher-up 3 foot PLF pratice from a picnic table top, and this time an instructor was watching. He came over to make corrections to my technique, kind of warning me for praticing a technique potentially improperly by myself without consulting an instructor first for critique. CONSULT YOUR INSTRUCTOR!!!

I'm interested in hearing opinions about PLF and whether you used them after your AFF-1 jump. I'm interested in hearing examples of actual PLF experiences.


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on May 16, 2005, 3:25 PM)


AggieDave  (D License)

May 16, 2005, 3:23 PM
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Re: [mdrejhon] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
An example is the tandem progression that crosses over to an AFF-style program, commonly used in North America, skipping the AFF-1 requirement of a PLF.

Even with your quantification you're assuming a lot.

PLFs are still taught. Requiring a student to do a PLF on a landing even when they could stand up the landing really teaches nothing. Besides, how many students stand up their first solo landing or all of their student landings? Isn't that a bit like requiring a student to cutaway a flying main canopy so to prove they can do it, even they they practice it at length on the ground?


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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May 16, 2005, 3:26 PM
Post #3 of 79 (1835 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

>Requiring a student to do a PLF on a landing even when they could
>stand up the landing really teaches nothing.

Well, to be fair, it does teach them to PLF. PLFing while landing is not the same as PLFing while jumping off a stool.

>Isn't that a bit like requiring a student to cutaway a flying main canopy
>so to prove they can do it . . .

I was required to cut away a main canopy before I got my tandem rating, and I recommend that people keep their RSLs on until they have a few cutaways. The thinking there is that you are better at things that you actually do.


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

May 16, 2005, 3:28 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

Good point - PLF's are definitely being taught - but my point remains that *some* programs don't teach PLF...

True, about cutaways. You are still taught them regardless even if you never have to use them. It's just that some dropzones don't even teach PLF even on the ground.

At dropzones using very docile student canopies such as Manta 288's, it appears that standup landings on the first solo are not unusual according to what I hear... Especially rural dropzones with great selection of easy landing targets.

I totally agree with my instructors here, I'm just gaining insight.


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on May 16, 2005, 3:33 PM)


kelpdiver  (B 7)

May 16, 2005, 3:32 PM
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Re: [mdrejhon] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I know PLF is a "not essential but good to know" item, helpful during emergencies such as malfunctions, severe errors, etc. Many people have never done a PLF before, and PLF seems to be going the way of the dodo.

The PLF is an essential, need to know skill. If you're being taught otherwise, start asking questions.


AggieDave  (D License)

May 16, 2005, 3:33 PM
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Re: [billvon] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Well, to be fair, it does teach them to PLF. PLFing while landing is not the same as PLFing while jumping off a stool.

Sure, however, my point is that they will PLF at some point during AFF or their student progression, it will happen, so why require a PLF on a jump that would have otherwise been a good landing?

Quote:
I was required to cut away a main canopy before I got my tandem rating,

You know what Bill Booth says about that right?

As a side note, had my 3rd cutaway yesterday, it was a tandem.Shocked Not that it has anything to do with this discussion, your post just reminded me.Laugh


(This post was edited by AggieDave on May 16, 2005, 3:34 PM)


Rettrae  (Student)

May 16, 2005, 3:38 PM
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Re: [mdrejhon] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

I was shown PLF and have landed that way ever since. Please note the # of jumps I have actually done! I am hoping that around my 100th jump I will not have to pick stickers out of my socks and other various parts after rolling around on the ground like a pig OINK! Seriously, I believe it has saved my legs, ankles, knees from injury, especially when there is no wind help brake my canopy Sly


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

May 16, 2005, 3:40 PM
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Re: [Rettrae] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it's really a factor of the training and student equipment people get.

It may be a country specific thing too. I'm in Canada, where most dropzones are typically rural in beautiful settings of farmland, streams, and parkland rather than surrounded by dense suburb communities. So rules may be optimized towards our country. (I'll have to check CSPA PIM's)

Anyway, I am NOT disagreeing with my instructors, but simply gaining insight. Everything seems safe, I was even required 4 tandems before starting my freefall program, students aren't getting hurt, and student standup landings are reportedly the norm rather than the exception when it comes to certain models of student canopies. Perhaps their teaching methods and safety are better.

(IMPORTANT: Please note: It's also quite possible they were going to teach me PLF before I switched canopies. I should note this. I cannot make this assumption. I'm just talking about the lack of PLF instruction during the MAIN progression program prior to solo certification.)


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on May 16, 2005, 3:59 PM)


FlyBye  (D 29438)

May 16, 2005, 4:02 PM
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Re: [mdrejhon] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

PLF is only an essential skill for people who have a problem with taking long layoffs, waiting for broken bones to heal.

You'll see how "non-essential" it is when the wind shifts on final and you're forced to land down wind on a breezy day.Or when you flare alittle high and find yourself falling under a stalled canopy from 15 feet up.

A good PLF can mean the difference between a broken back and a bruised ego. It saved my ass plenty of times.


bob.dino  (E 2185)

May 16, 2005, 4:11 PM
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Re: [FlyBye] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
PLF is only an essential skill for people who have a problem with taking long layoffs, waiting for broken bones to heal.

Well said. About five months ago I did a downwinder in 15-20kts of wind. Probably the stupidest decision I've made in skydiving so far. Without a good PLR I'd have been in really serious trouble. As it was it was just my ego that got bruised.

As an aside, in Australia there's a move to promote the term PLR - Parachute Landing Roll - instead of PLF.


(This post was edited by bob.dino on May 16, 2005, 4:18 PM)


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

May 16, 2005, 4:14 PM
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Re: [bob.dino] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

True, everyone including my instructors say it's good to know for emergencies, but I should reiterate:
In reply to:
IMPORTANT: Please note: It's also quite possible they were going to teach me PLF before I switched canopies. I should note this. I cannot make this assumption. I'm just talking about the lack of PLF instruction during the MAIN progression program prior to solo certification.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

May 16, 2005, 4:20 PM
Post #12 of 79 (1756 views)
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Re: [mdrejhon] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I know PLF is a "not essential but good to know" item

Incorrect. PLF's are survival skills. Smart jumpers know how to do them to the left, to the right, to the front and to the back. They also practice them on at least a semi-regular basis.

In reply to:
I'm interested in hearing opinions about PLF and whether you used them after your AFF-1 jump. I'm interested in hearing examples of actual PLF experiences.

I did one on Saturday.


hookitt  (D License)

May 16, 2005, 4:24 PM
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Re: [mdrejhon] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

Ask genoyamamoto about PLFs. I re-trained him on PLFs for level 4. We both did a whole bunch of them before we the skydive.

He used it perfectly and necessarily on that very dive.

I have plenty of PLFs in real life. It's a necessary skill to own.


wnmccart  (D 24025)

May 16, 2005, 4:59 PM
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Re: [mdrejhon] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

PLFís are not going the way of the dodo, but they should be. With the advancement of training techniques, and equipment available, there is no reason why anyone should have to do a Parachute Landing Fall.

Before you start hyperventilating, let me explain.

If youíre coming in too fast, because you failed to read the windsock correctly, slide it in. Trying to do a somersault is going to result in an injury. Watch baseball, you never see the runner do a somersault across home plate.

If youíre coming in too slowÖ waitÖ never mind.

The only time a PLF could theoretically be useful (especially in Mark's situation - square reserve) is if you stall your canopy 20 feet off the deck. I didnít bother teaching Mark to PLF because he weighs 160 pounds (soaking wet) and he was flying a 288 square foot Manta. Iíve tried to stall a Manta (weighing in at around 190) and in order to stall the thing, I had to take two wraps of the steering line around my hands.

We teach people cutaway procedures because if they get into a situation where they need them, nothing is going to release the main parachute. I donít remember ever learning how to fall off my bike, but I remember doing it often.


Brian425  (A 45378)

May 16, 2005, 5:03 PM
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Re: [mdrejhon] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

I know that I am a low number guy so take it with a grain of salt.

I think that PLF's are a necessary skill to have to new jumpers. It was drilled into me in the student progression and I have been asked to demonstrate them to students (to refresh and so the FJC instructor does not have to roll around).

If they don't teach it, find an instructor or old timer to teach you. One day you may need it. It's a good thing to know.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
May 16, 2005, 5:04 PM
Post #16 of 79 (1718 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

>Sure, however, my point is that they will PLF at some point during AFF
>or their student progression, it will happen, so why require a PLF on a
>jump that would have otherwise been a good landing?

Because on their first jump they can't judge a good landing from a bad one. Having them PLF anyway protects them in case they land hard, and it gives them useful practice. IMO of course.


AggieDave  (D License)

May 16, 2005, 5:06 PM
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Re: [wnmccart] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
The only time a PLF could theoretically be useful (especially in Mark's situation - square reserve) is if you stall your canopy 20 feet off the deck. I didnít bother teaching Mark to PLF because he weighs 160 pounds (soaking wet) and he was flying a 288 square foot Manta. Iíve tried to stall a Manta (weighing in at around 190) and in order to stall the thing, I had to take two wraps of the steering line around my hands

Hmmm...

I've had to use a PLF on a high performance canopy without stalling it. I was landing off in reasonably high winds and as it would happen literally the only spot I had wasn't exactly good for turbulance. If it wasn't for a PLF I could have been seriously hurt.

Basically, its not just for students, its not just for guys on slow canopies, its not just for stalling your canopy, its for the situations that present themselves that you didn't plan for.


AggieDave  (D License)

May 16, 2005, 5:08 PM
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Re: [billvon] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Because on their first jump they can't judge a good landing from a bad one. Having them PLF anyway protects them in case they land hard, and it gives them useful practice. IMO of course.

Good point.

However, I see it as having a student with their feet and knees together, ready for a PLF, and they will naturally fall into a PLF but if they flare reasonably well (on an appropiate student canopy and wingloading) then there's no reason why they couldn't stand it up. However, what does forcing a student to do a PLF really teach? They've demonstrated it numerous times on the ground (hopefully) and they're ready for it, but making them do one doesn't really teach anything.


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

May 16, 2005, 5:09 PM
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Re: [wnmccart] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

Just to confirm to everyone.... Yes, wnmccart has been my primary instructor throughout my progression.

I should also add that in person at the dropzone I was also told useful in "emergency situations" too (like canopy entanglements) so obviously wnmmcart meant "good canopy situations" when he said "The only time a..."


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on May 16, 2005, 5:11 PM)


FlyBye  (D 29438)

May 16, 2005, 5:24 PM
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Re: [wnmccart] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

Watch baseball, you never see the runner do a somersault across home plate.
In reply to:

Do you really think thats applicable here?Laugh


Premier skybytch  (D License)

May 16, 2005, 5:33 PM
Post #21 of 79 (1693 views)
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Re: [wnmccart] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If youíre coming in too fast, because you failed to read the windsock correctly, slide it in

And risk tailbone and spine injury.

In reply to:
I didnít bother teaching Mark to PLF because he weighs 160 pounds (soaking wet) and he was flying a 288 square foot Manta.

Will he always be flying a Manta?


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

May 16, 2005, 5:39 PM
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Re: [skybytch] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
And risk tailbone and spine injury.
The Manta never flew that fast even during the strongest wind landing. Plus, I had so many wind holds, anyway.

In reply to:
Will he always be flying a Manta?
No, but a comment I got at the dropzone earlier (along the lines of a phrase "when I tell you to"), leads me to believe they were going to teach me PLF before I switched canopies.

That's why I said I can't make the assumption they will never teach me PLF. Just that I wasn't during the freefall progression.


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on May 16, 2005, 5:42 PM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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May 16, 2005, 5:44 PM
Post #23 of 79 (1671 views)
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Re: [mdrejhon] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

>The Manta never flew that fast even during the strongest wind landing.

Mantas can fly fast enough and drop hard enough to injure even small students if they do not PLF. I've seen perhaps a dozen minor injuries resulting from mishandling a Manta and not PLFing.


mattjw916  (D License)

May 16, 2005, 5:50 PM
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Re: [skybytch] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

If you slide it in properly your tail bone never makes contact with the ground because you are sliding on your hip and NOT your butt which can handle a hell of a lot of impact, watch ice hockey for more than 10 minutes and this will become readily apparent.

While PLF'ng is a good skill to have, it is less necessary with modern ZP canopies due to their greater forward speed and ability to plane out more effectively. Now if someone stalls, pops up the canopy due to stabbing the toggles too hard, or just simply flares waaaay too high, I agree it's PLF time. Hell, I even flew a Navigator 280 loaded at .75 straight into the ground with a late/no flare during AFF and didn't even get a scratch. I doubt a PLF would have done anything more than make a mess of the lines and more grass stains.


AggieDave  (D License)

May 16, 2005, 6:04 PM
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Re: [mattjw916] Going the way of the dodo: PLF [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
ell, I even flew a Navigator 280 loaded at .75 straight into the ground with a late/no flare during AFF and didn't even get a scratch.

And I was flying a fully elliptical canopy loaded at 1.7:1 at under 200 jumps. It doesn't mean that it was necissarily mean that it was a good thing or that folks didn't get lucky or that its going to work out that way for everyone.


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