Jun 2, 2001, 7:25 PM
Post #1 of 11
Banged my knee up pretty good when I got hit by a crosswind gust right as I flared. Sent me sideways and I slammed down pretty hard. Tumble...tumble. Lay there thinking "Anything broken?" Managed to get up and put weight on it. The guys by the hanger said it looked pretty nasty.
Anyway, anybody have any tips for negotiating a crosswinder like that (other than not going crosswind -- duh)? Or is rolling it out and taking your lumps about the best you can do?
In any event, I talked to one of my instructors on Sunday and he said two things may have (and this jibes with my fuzzy recollection) made things worse:
1. Flaring a little extra to slow down might is probably what pulled me up and then dropped me. 2. Reaching with my right foot (as I dropped) would have caused the canopy to turn. Said that happens a lot.
Obviously a toggle turn at that stage of the ballgame would be a really bad idea. But I wondered a couple of things...
1. Is trying a very slight braked turn at that level likely going to get me into more trouble than otherwise? 2. If reaching the wrong way makes the problem worse, could shifting in the harness against the crosswind slightly improve things?
I did not see your landing or know how heavily you load your canopy, ... IMHO ... The most common explanation for turns during the landing flare is flaring unevenly. Uneven flaring may be caused by several factors. First the lines may no longer be symmetrical. Ask a rigger to inspect your lines. Secondly, as you mentioned, you may be "reaching" with one foot. This naughty habit makes the harness assymmetrical. Thirdly, because of old injuries, right-handedness, etc. few of our bodies are symmetrical. So when it feels like you are flaring evenly, chances are one toggle is farther down. Fourthly, when you feel yourself starting to fall off to one side, you instinctively stick out that hand to break the fall. This instinct works great except when you have a steering toggle in your hand. Now sticking out a hand only makes the turn worse. Try flaring with your hands in front of your belly, where you can see them. Finally, ask your friendly neighborhood CSPA or Skydive University Coach to critique your landings. You can make the coach's job much easier if you can provide videotape of your last few landings.
I did not see your landing or know how heavily you load your canopy
I jump a Sabre 150 loaded at 1.23.
In reply to:
when you feel yourself starting to fall off to one side, you instinctively stick out that hand to break the fall. This instinct works great except when you have a steering toggle in your hand. Now sticking out a hand only makes the turn worse.
OMG! I'll bet anything that's exactly what happened! It would sure explain why I dropped out of the sky so fast and hit the ground as hard as I did.
In reply to:
You can make the coach's job much easier if you can provide videotape of your last few landings.
riggerrob had some good thoughts. Especially that one about reaching for the ground. I saw two people do that on a gusty day. With obvious results. I steady breeze crosswind land isn't really any different. Just more speed. I kind of like doing it. Just don't get spooked and reach or try a radical correction if you get rocked sideways. Keep landing the parachute smoothly, and it will. usually...
-When it's windy, you don't need to flare as much to stop the canopy for landing. You may not need to flare as high off the ground either. Concentrate on the ground coming up, then smoothly flare until the canopy stops moving forward - that's all you need. -"Cross-gusts" happen - sometimes even if you're on the wind line. First, when it's windy, make sure you ARE on the wind line. That will increase your likelihood of success. Second, our natural reaction to a cross gust (feels like we're falling) is to stick out a hand to regain our balance and catch ourselves. Of course, with a toggle in your hand, you actually aggravate the sideways movement caused by the cross-gust and "auger" into the ground. The fix: Resist the natural instinct to throw that hand out. Do a small "cross-turn" back into the wind line to put you squarely back under the canopy so you can stand up. For example, a right "cross-turn" is accomplished by pulling down slightly on the right toggle, while letting up slightly on the left toggle. SMALL corrections. Do it once correctly and the light will come on for ya!
Zen - I had this problem twice. Once when I nearly landed in the pond and carved away instead, and landing on wrist and side. Beat bad, well no more than usual, really. But I was sore longer thats for sure.
The other time was just stupid, I was last winter, again, and I was slipping upon touch down, so I reached out my hand and naturally turned my canopy with the toggle in hand. That was the other wrist injury. And left lower leg separtated tibia and fibia, plus the McRubber twisted ankle that I had to wear air cast on last winter.
Moral of the story is listen very closely to the post here. Dont do what I did. Now, its an additional $5 a jump for me cause I can not pack. And worse, this very day, I almost took out a 10 way freefly jump cause I was outside float, next to last in a sit fly train, in door, and had I had serious trouble hanging on to the bar. My grip is terrible. With all the guys hangin on to me and everyone else, and the wind, I nearly lost my grip. And that would have been really bad. (And then the count was like forever to get 10 people in the door) I thought I was going to die. If I took it out, oh man, the token freefly chick takes out a 10 way. Yipee, where is my hole to crawl in. And RW grips, no can do. So you see I was meant to freefly.
Another Moral: Fix that bad habit ASAP, you might not be flying your canopy as well as you could be with your wing loading in winds if this keeps up you might break an arm or worse, so fix it now. I kinda hold me toggles when flaring slightly out to the side and closely beside lower hip area.
However, if you gotta be in a crosswind these findings posted here on the forum are great.
Clear Blue and Extra Alt, AirAnn http://www.AirAnn.com
quade (D 22635)
Jun 20, 2001, 5:12 PM
Post #11 of 11
I've seen skydivers use the term "cross-wind landing" a couple of ways;
1) They're describing actually landing into the wind, but across the "normal" line of approach. For instance, in the experienced landing area at Perris, landings are always supposed to be south to north or north to south. If somebody comes in east to west, some folks will call this a "cross-wind landing."
2) They're describing a situation where they'd LIKE to be able to land in one direction, say south to north, but the wind is actually coming from a heading across that flight path, say from the west. This is the more common definition and the one that an airplane pilot would use.
Pilots have two different ways they can cope with a cross-wind landing;
1) Crab all the way to just before touchdown and kick in a little rudder to line up the landing gear with the runway just before touching down.
2) Align the plane with the runway with the rudder and put one wing low into the wind to keep the flight path centered.
As a skydiver, you really can't do exactly either of these things because you don't have a rudder.
If you can't accept a landing directly into the wind and must land with a cross-wind, then you'll have to get a little creative.
What -I- do is crab all the way to touch down and accept a certain amount of running sideways (crabbing) when I finally have to put my feet on the surface of the earth. Notice, your flight path -should- still be aligned with whatever path you're trying to achieve, but you'll more likely than not have to run a little sideways.
This really isn't all that big of a deal if you do the math on it.
For instance, let's say your canopy flew at 20 mph and you had to accept a 20 mph wind 90 degrees off your line of flight. Well, that means you're still only running 45 degrees sideways at an equivalent 10 mph headwind.
BTW, if you're landing in a 20 mph wind, you might want to think about landing into it in an alternate area rather than the "experienced" area unless you have some, uh, "experience" at doing this. ;^)
As for flairing higher, lower, more or less aggressively, ask yourself this question, "how does the canopy know you're landing in any wind at all?"
True, your feet know when they contact the earth how fast they have to move so that you don't trip, but in all cases where you're landing without a tailwind component, that -should- be slower than a no-wind condition. You can stand up your canopy in a no wind situation right? Why would you change anything?
(The -one- exception to this would be if you're actually landing into a wind so high that you're flying backward. In that case I'd actually say flair LOWER and accept a firmer vertical landing than a less firm backward one or maybe don't flair at all and PLF. If you land with a backward ground speed you'll very likely fall over and get dragged a bit.)