Jun 25, 2001, 3:29 PM
Post #1 of 6
the weather was poor this weekend and after 4 hop and pops we finally got altitude. about 3 people landed before me swooping the wooden fence at our dz. i had a low set up and rather than land to the back of the dz i swooped near the fence in the opposite direction. in flight i was aware of the position of other flyers but none the less, it was a mistake for me to go opposite the landing pattern set by the jumpers before me. i obviously, annoyed several jumpers, who came up to me and said not cool. i had no excuse to offer, only an apology for the poor judgment, being somewhat unaware of why i landed in that direction.
i love canopy flying, equally if not more so than freefalling. to me canopy flying and skydiving are completely separate disciplines. i am loading 2.4 on my canopy and i am very focused on practicing canopy skills. in thinking about my landing pattern mistake i realized i had preplanned in my head the exact spot i wanted to be at for my final turn and became so focused on practicing a new skill (rear riser landing) that i didn't assimilate new information from around me. i.e.. LAND THE OTHER WAY, PATTERN HAS CHANGED...
even experienced jumpers make mistakes, always hope they will be minor. towards that end i thought i would post this and perhaps it would help a few other jumpers avoid the mistake.
Very cool of you to post this so openly. Very cool.
By the way, you gave me some free advice a couple of weeks ago at Perris, and it made a huge difference. Thanks so much. I haven't been abusing canopies nearly as much since then, and it's made my landings much smoother and more fun.
Cool post. We all make mistakes, but only the wise adimit it.
Still, at our DZ we call landing direction before we get out of the plane. If you don't like it under canopy, you go to the alternate landing area. I know a lot of DZ's go by the first guy down. That can create confusion. Although it does make sense on multi turbine DZ's.
the only problem with watching for the first guy is if he is doing a fast downwinder for a swoop. I followed a bunch super canopy flyers out the door. when it came time to land I had to check the flag about 10 times before I realized that 5 guys in front of me were all doing down wind speed passes. in the end you are in charge of your own canopy.
"the only problem with watching for the first guy is if he is doing a fast downwinder for a swoop."
It is for that exact reason that we declare our landing-direction intentions in the loading area. Those of us who swoop in "other than the standard direction" have a very specific set of guidelines that we follow. Generally, it is right down the beer line where I normally jump (Raeford). Flying this corridor keeps us out of the line of flight of our very-considerable student population. Also, people ripping downwinders are told they they must land first or last; we prefer last. Violators of these simple guidelines get stern warnings on their first infraction and told to take a hike for a while for repeat offenses.
Dan Preston really is a stand-up guy and I am very happy to be associated with him and his company (Atair USA). That he relayed his tale is typical of his good nature. That he made mention of this particular infraction is remarkable considering the abundance of "out of bounds" landings that occur at his home DZ, The Ranch. There are plenty of people there that whip 360 and 540 degree hooks and end up swooping out in no particular direction. There is one jumper who was recently badly injured for botching a swoop in between the three-foot passageway in the border fence. This jumper was known for exploits such as that and nobody was surprised when he ate it. The bottom line is that we are all accountable for our actions. If we decide to swoop downwind or whatever, then that is our prerogative, so long as we do not endanger others with our actions. The second we act in a manner beyond our capabilities and injure another jumper or spectator due to those actions, then we lose our rights and should be ready to take the ass-whipping or whatever other consequence the DZO doles out.
Everyone is going to make a mistake at some point in their jumping career. I have certainly made my share in my past 20 years in the sport; been kicked off the DZ a couple of times too! Still, as an active Instructor, I do my best to portray an image that is controlled and calculated. I jump a TINY parachute(75 square feet), but am never accused of looking "out of control" on my landings. To quote Skymedic: "in the end, you are in charge of your own canopy." That is absolutely correct and to this day I continue to learn more about canopy control.
Thank you guys for your posts! As a newbie with only 49 jumps, I am still working intensely at better canopy control, landings and learning how to 'play safely'. I always appreciate when those with more experience share some of those experiences with me as a lot of times it's something I hadn't even thought of. It's those like you guys who are willing to take the time to do such things that I admire a great deal and aspire to be like one day.
Some new <A HREF="http://skydivechick.tripod.com/oscpics.html" target="_new">pics</A>.