Jul 2, 2001, 8:28 AM
Post #1 of 5
High Performance Lesson
My friend hooked into a swoop ditch and broke three ribs. He will not be able to jump for quite a while. Here is the lesson.
He was seeking advice on piloting and was flying ok performing 90 degree carving riser turns on to final. We had discussed (with the resident swoop champ) not swooping over water for a long time because it is different on your depth perception that land and can be tricky.
My friend casually planned (no one really new his intent) to do a hop'n pop and swoop the ditch, down wind, and he performed a 180 carve (lots of altitude loss) and he slammed in to the water at about a 45 degree angle.
Lessons: 1. Never change more than one variable when trying something new, too many variables will make it dificult for you to adjust to an unexpected change in you flight path. a: He decided to land down wind. b: He decided to hook it in down wind instead of land straight in). c: He decided to land over the water (first time) d: He decided to do a 180 carving turn (first time) and performed it from his normal 90 altitude or maybe a little higher.
This seems to be doomed from the start. He was loaded at about 1.28 on a stilleto which is not high, but you can see that loading had nothing to do with this. He is lucky someone was right there to pull him out of the ditch where he was face down with his bell rung.
Low turns can kill at any loading. Beleive the 1000+ jump swoopers when they give advice or criticism, many of them know from experience. I have eaten dirt when I thought I knew better and I need to follow safe swooping also so I am not preaching, but showing the variables that may have cause my buddy to get hurt.
A good swooper advised to , walk your swoops out, have preplanned outs at various legs of the approach. If one thing changes from you desired landing pattern, abort your landing and come straight in, it is that easy.
Agreed. going for too many changes to your regular routine is just asking for trouble. EVERYONE makes mistakes. Your friend is lucky he hit water. In my experience, the biggest factor in his case was the over-water swoop. Depth perception is most certainly different over water. As I am sure you read in the swoop meet article, I went swimming a couple of times. The ONLY variable I changed was jumping that unfamiliar pond. Luckily, I dialed it in fairly quick and didn't ever get hurt.
I wasn't able to jump at all last weekend & I'm out of town this week (change of plans, looks like I'll be jumping at Aerodrome this week), so this is the first I've heard of this. Send my best wishes to whomever it was.