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How to recover from a flat spin on back?

 


WooHoo  (A 48391)

Nov 10, 2005, 9:09 PM
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How to recover from a flat spin on back? Can't Post

I have sixty jumps and recently had two coached jumps to learn the basics of back flying. On the first jump I exited well and had a slight rotation caused by not being symetrical. On the second jump the rotation quickly turned into a fast flat spin, on my back. I decided to put in a hard arch, but due to body position just became flatter and faster, I then tried to roll over onto my belly, and couldn't do it. I then made a big effort to relax, and point my legs and hands skywards to increase speed and reduce the spin. The spin slowed but it took me three attempts to finally get on my belly, as my protrack sounded for the first time at 6000.

Though at the time I didn't panic, I found the whole experience unsettling and my confidence shaken. I spoke to some expereinced skydivers who said that the arch would have been the way to get back to belly to earth. I tried ( obviously not hard enough) but I am 49 and don't have the flexibility or strength I once had.

Has anyone any thoughts as to how to recover this position if the arch cannot be made suffiiently effective. One suggestion was to go into a ball, wait a few seconds then burst out into an arch?

I have not jumped since, but am planning a weekend away jumping in six weeks and would like to have some new techniques for recovery in my head should it happen again. Before you ask, I do not plan to do any back flying for a long time.["the impossible is what people say cannot be done until someone goes and does it"


AggieDave  (D License)

Nov 10, 2005, 9:13 PM
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Re: [WooHoo] How to recover from a flat spin on back? [In reply to] Can't Post

Firstly, please talk to an instructor at your DZ about what happened. If you have video go over the video with him/her. Since you said it was a "coached jump" to learn back flying, I would hope that your coach has already given you good and proper advice.

Secondly, "hard arch" is a bit of a mis-statement. Take a deep breath, relax, push your hips forward and return to a neutral body position on your belly.


WooHoo  (A 48391)

Nov 10, 2005, 9:32 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] How to recover from a flat spin on back? [In reply to] Can't Post

The instructor told me my left shoulder was low, and that tension in my limbs made me more rigid, hence the increase in spin rate. I watched the video, and realised that my unfamiliarity with the perspective of the back fly position, meant I didn't know the right input to slow down.

The coach told me to be more relaxed, and added that he would have stopped the spin. He didn't think it was to bad, it sure felt like it though. My safety in the sky is my responsibility so I want to become safe and responsible skydiver, and thanks for the advice it makes great sense.Smile


Premier Tonto  (D 515)
Moderator
Nov 11, 2005, 2:49 AM
Post #4 of 18 (1807 views)
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Re: [WooHoo] How to recover from a flat spin on back? [In reply to] Can't Post

Tandem sidespin recovery and Wingsuit flat spin recovery both recomend the "Ball-up" technique followed by the arch.

Aggiedave has made 2 important points.

1. Discuss this with your instructor.
2. "Hard arch" is not what you need. You need chin up, elbows high, hips down and legs slightly positive.

Good luck.

t


AFFI  (D 25538)

Nov 11, 2005, 3:20 AM
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Re: [WooHoo] How to recover from a flat spin on back? [In reply to] Can't Post

Put your thumb in your mouth and blow really hard, this will re-inflate your midsection and give you mid-body buoyancy and should correct the situation quickly....

No wait, that is totally wrong - you better listen to Aggie and Tonto.

The only real addition I would add to thier input is to remain altitude aware, burrning through your deployment altitude, hard deck or even lower does not sound like a breeding ground for a happy time... Remember that a roll over technique might burn up 1,000 feet more or less.


LawnDart21  (D License)

Nov 11, 2005, 6:15 AM
Post #6 of 18 (1742 views)
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Re: [WooHoo] How to recover from a flat spin on back? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
meant I didn't know the right input to slow down.

I'm sorry, I gotta comment on this.

Your coach or instructor should have warned you ahead of time, before your jump, that learning to back fly has the potential to put you in a flat spin on your back. They should have also clearly explained the recovery procedure for such an event, before your first back fly jump. Why? Because:

At 120mph, 45 seconds from the ground, is not the place to realize that something hasnt been covered in a dive plan.

When I was learning to skysurf, before my very first board jump, my instructor went over every possible scenario of what could go wrong that he could think of. He also went over (again and again) what the appropriate recovery procedures were.

I am sure your instructor is a good instructor and this was just an oversight not covering this with you before hand. I say, to anyone teaching freeflying to newer students, use this as a learning tool. Take the extra time to explain that this type of thing can happen and what to do to recover from it.


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

Nov 11, 2005, 7:15 AM
Post #7 of 18 (1717 views)
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Re: [LawnDart21] How to recover from a flat spin on back? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Your coach or instructor should have warned you ahead of time, before your jump, that learning to back fly has the potential to put you in a flat spin on your back. They should have also clearly explained the recovery procedure for such an event, before your first back fly jump.
Interesting.

I did several backfly jumps to fulfill a CSPA license requirement I needed to be able to do a figure 8 in a sit or on my back. Since backfly was easier than sitfly, I decided to try it backfly.

Nobody taught me to backfly beyond how to enter that position (a half barrel roll) or told me about flat spins, but I already was taught backfly recovery: A half barrel roll back onto my stomach, which I did successfully several times.

On one of my backfly jumps, I went into an unexpected flat spin. No big deal, I'll just half-barrel roll back onto my belly and arch hard. That's what I did, and I recovered quickly since I already knew how to stop a fast belly spin. I had momentum from my flat spin, but half-barrelling still worked, and now I had an easily-correctable belly flat spin. At first but I took only a few seconds - so I think I burned less than 1000 feet from a back flat spin to a non-spinning belly-down.

Nobody warned me about flat spins, but I was told the fastest way to recover from a backfly (for my experience level at the time -- there are probably better and more graceful techniques too): A half barrel roll. I seem to remember I praticed many of those before praticing backfly turns, so I had no problems recovering... I did a jump dedicated to half-barrel roll pratice, and was able to do it reliably before I attempted any back fly turns...

Eventually I'm gonna learn how to sitfly, but I only wanted to pass the CSPA license and speciallize in bellyflying before I try any real freefly..

(I was able to do figure 8's on my back to meet the requirement. I think it took me four or five backfly specific jumps before I could do it reliably less than 45 degree off-heading)

Again, talk to your instructor if this is appropriate for you... don't try anything from these boards without passing them by your instructor first...


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on Nov 11, 2005, 7:38 AM)


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Nov 11, 2005, 9:29 AM
Post #8 of 18 (1648 views)
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Re: [mdrejhon] How to recover from a flat spin on back? [In reply to] Can't Post

I use a similar technique to recover from unstable tandem exits.
An assymetrical delta is the quickest way to recover.
Start with a delta (head back, chest out, arms back, elbows straight, hands near waist level, spine arched, hips forward, butt cheeks clenched, knees straight, toes pointed, etc.), but hold one arm close to your ribs while the other arm gets really wide.
This causes a diving half-barrel roll.
... which quickly puts you in a head-down spiral, which is easy to recover to a slow-spinning, belly-to-earth stable arch.


WooHoo  (A 48391)

Nov 11, 2005, 9:54 AM
Post #9 of 18 (1640 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] How to recover from a flat spin on back? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for all the good advice. The lessons I learned are cover every eventuality on the ground, and know how to recover from the worst case scenario, which I know this was.

I am pleased that throughout the spin I didn't panic and was trying hard, but I think I was trying to arch and turn, (which eventually worked but I must have burned up 5000 to do it). The lesson is well learnt.

I am going to practise the recovery routine on the ground again and again, so if it happens again, I will know what to do and have confidence in my ability to do it.

It is a humbling sport, that has a habit of biting you, when you assume you know too much.

Any other advice is most welcome.


Premier GravityGirl  (D 18897)

Nov 11, 2005, 10:55 AM
Post #10 of 18 (1622 views)
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Re: [WooHoo] How to recover from a flat spin on back? [In reply to] Can't Post

First check your altimeter. Then you can tuck into a ball. That will eliminate your helicopter rotors. Take a deep breath, then pop back into an arch.

Plan your outs or corrective proceedures, and if you jump with someone else, make sure you let them in on the plan, so they can be aware of potential fall rate changes.


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

Nov 11, 2005, 1:08 PM
Post #11 of 18 (1597 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] How to recover from a flat spin on back? [In reply to] Can't Post

Interesting. I shall try that delta barrel roll technique the next time I test a solo backfly.

My half barrell roll out of a spinning backfly was somewhat clumsy (centrifugal forces) but I still got bellydown quickly. The delta barrell roll is probably a more smooth exit from a backfly spin.
In reply to:
I use a similar technique to recover from unstable tandem exits. An assymetrical delta is the quickest way to recover. Start with a delta (head back, chest out, arms back, elbows straight, hands near waist level, spine arched, hips forward, butt cheeks clenched, knees straight, toes pointed, etc.), but hold one arm close to your ribs while the other arm gets really wide.
This causes a diving half-barrel roll.
... which quickly puts you in a head-down spiral, which is easy to recover to a slow-spinning, belly-to-earth stable arch.


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on Nov 11, 2005, 1:10 PM)


Orange1  (B 2638)

Nov 12, 2005, 7:42 AM
Post #12 of 18 (1501 views)
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Re: [mdrejhon] How to recover from a flat spin on back? [In reply to] Can't Post

A question to the instructors reading this. I've never done any intended Tongue backflying, but when I did AFF i was told that if you go on your back, you can end up in a situation where arching just puts you in a stable back-to-earth position and therefore was taught to barrel-roll to get belly to earth. So, I am somewhat confused by the advice to arch - any comments? (And yes, i'll check with my own instructors, and no, i don't plan to freefly for a good while yet, at least till after i've entered nationals in FSLaugh)


Fab  (C License)

Nov 13, 2005, 1:52 PM
Post #13 of 18 (1410 views)
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Re: [WooHoo] How to recover from a flat spin on back? [In reply to] Can't Post

I did a fun freefly jump with another jumper last month....we hold on to eachother and we were spinning (delibirate) so hard that when we let go of eachother we were both catapulled away from eachother and ended up spinning up on my back....Arching hard didn't do the trick..kept on spinning...tucking up like a ball...maked myself as small as possible then tried again and got out of the spin immediately..


kelpdiver  (B 7)

Nov 14, 2005, 6:46 PM
Post #14 of 18 (1305 views)
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Re: [Orange1] How to recover from a flat spin on back? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've ended up on my back many times trying something else (exits off tailgate, weak flips) and have never tried to barrel roll. Just some sort of arch and lean. I think any stable back position would involve a delicate balance - though a high spin rate might tend to flatten out any input you try.

If it went really crazy, I'd go for the ball route. Most of those spins are self created thru some sort of asymmetry anyway, so this is a way to try to zero it out.


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

Nov 15, 2005, 12:35 PM
Post #15 of 18 (1258 views)
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Re: [kelpdiver] How to recover from a flat spin on back? [In reply to] Can't Post

That's what I do. Arching works wonders. When I found myself on my back but not spinning. Then arching worked like magic.

BUT... back at around jump 30 or 40 or so, which is when I think my flat spin on back happened, it was a "longish ago" in relative jump number terms, arching like hell didn't work at all. The centrifugal force kept me in a stable back-to-earth position. That immediately made me nervous. One second later, I tried a half barrell roll. Poof. Whew. I'm safe now (6000 feet).

I was trying to do a figure-8 on my back (a requirement for a CSPA license), and one time, trying to stop the spin caused me to spin faster, so I was already spinning too fast to arch back to belly.

I fell back to what the instructor taught me -- that arching works, but if I ever want to get out of "back-to-Earth" faster, just do a half barrell roll. So that's what I did...

Distorting body position (balling up, delta, etc) all seem to be legitimate ways to exit a flat spin on a back, I'll most certainly try these at some point, especially when I am praticing real sitfly next year...

If any newbies are reading this -- never forget to arch, it will nearly always work... Just helps to find out from an instructor to know what to do when arching "unexpectedly does not work like before such as in flat spins on back-to-earth". (most common with fast flat spins on back especially if you're a newbie who don't know how to sitfly yet) This is not relevant to those people who know how to stop a spin while you're on your back....you just stop spinning before flipping over....but newbies like me about 100 jumps ago, ran into this problem of (A) unable to stop spin (B) unable to arch to flip over, and needed Plan C.


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on Nov 15, 2005, 12:43 PM)


CaptainRuggs  (A 47402)

Nov 16, 2005, 8:03 AM
Post #16 of 18 (1214 views)
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Re: [mdrejhon] How to recover from a flat spin on back? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I did several backfly jumps to fulfill a CSPA license requirement ...Nobody taught me to backfly beyond how to enter that position (a half barrel roll) or told me about flat spins

In reply to:
That's interesting that you didn't get much information about performing a maneuver for the first time that was a requirement for a license...

...and that's excellent that a simple half-barrell roll helped you there, which apparently was the thing to do because it worked, but in my opinion, the place to be figuring that out for yourself is not burning through 6000' ! I agree with LawnDart21, a good intsructor will and should take the time to go over as much as possible with you before you are trying something new and abnormal, especially if it's required for a license!


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

Nov 16, 2005, 9:30 AM
Post #17 of 18 (1207 views)
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Re: [CaptainRuggs] How to recover from a flat spin on back? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
That's interesting that you didn't get much information about performing a maneuver for the first time that was a requirement for a license...
I got information about how to get on to my back, and how to do recovery several times (half barrel roll advice was given to me more than once), including coached jumps. But on solos, I just went ahead to attempt back turns without asking questions - so nobody taught me how to do turns on my back. I experimented on my own. So it's not entirely the instructor's fault.

After all, I have had already been jumping 30-40 times and I no longer needed to always tell instructors the complete details of exactly what I was doing on every solo jump - just the type I was doing and pull altitude (belly, tracking, etc, and what pull) for jump run safety purposes.

I was a human frisbee (stable arch-to-sky, about 0.5 to 0.75 revolution per second) for only a few seconds and my recovery was sufficiently fast that I quickly forgot about it that I didn't even tell the instructors afterwards except to say that half barrel roll worked great for me.


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on Nov 16, 2005, 9:35 AM)


CaptainRuggs  (A 47402)

Nov 16, 2005, 1:45 PM
Post #18 of 18 (1185 views)
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Re: [mdrejhon] How to recover from a flat spin on back? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I got information about how to get on to my back, and how to do recovery several times (half barrel roll advice was given to me more than once), including coached jumps. But on solos, I just went ahead to attempt back turns without asking questions - so nobody taught me how to do turns on my back. I experimented on my own. So it's not entirely the instructor's fault.

In reply to:
well I suppose nobody is really at fault here anyway, but I understand what happened in your case more clearly, and there's nothing wrong with a little experimenting on your own once you are comfortable, as long as we all get to have a beer together at the end of the day Smile



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