Nov 9, 2002, 2:39 AM
Post #1 of 16
I keep on screwing up my 5 sec delays. I've done five of them now, the 1st was shit, the 2nd was good, 3rd was shit, 4th was good, and the 5th was another shit one. The problem? I keep on bringing my legs up and tucking my feet up under my bum, which has the effect of sitting me up and flipping me onto my back. I don't know what to do about it. Try as i might, i have little to no awareness of what my legs are doing, so i can't sort them out in 5 sec of freefall. Also when i do flip onto my back i lose my arch immediately and just pull. I've been lucky so far, no mals, but i am sure if i pull unstable again i won't have a good canopy. Has anyone got any ideas or tips on how to sort the leg problem out?
The best advice I can give you (I'm sure you've had it before) is RELAX. Exit on a 5 sec delay is no different than one from height, except for the psychological factor. It sounds almost like you're flinching with your legs when exiting. I always find that visualizing what I plan to do helps a lot. Think about letting go of the plane and flying straight off the door. Be aggressive with those legs and maintain visual contact with the aircraft. I just step off and watch the plane. Remember, you're not "screwing up" so much as learning. Keep positive and it will all come together.
Not to confuse the situation but I solved the same problem by doing the opposite. I locked my legs out tight so that they wouldn't move. That got me through the 10 second delays. Then I had to start focusing on relaxing because you will start potatoe chipping with your legs straight out on longer delays. I found the 10 second delays a lot easier than the 5 second delays.
Relax. Five second delays are on of the tougher stages to learning freefall. Half the people that learned via the traditional method had difficulty with practice pulls or 5 second delays. Buddy's suggestion about locking your legs will probably help. Just remember that any arch starts from the hips. On later freefalls, no-one really cares if you flop around the sky for the first five seconds. The debrief will sound something like: "Tripped over your shoelace? Ha! Ha! No big deal. The key points are that you arched out of it and pulled at the correct altitude. Now let's discuss those turns ........"
Have a coach or an Instructor help you on the ground by putting the right pressure on your legs while you practice the right body postion. If your not gently pushing against the air with your legs when you fly then you can loose your legs up like that, blue skies ...Hallur
I was doing the delays last month, and I had a similar problem. Mine was that I was sticking my arms to far up, on my 10 second delay I actually did an unintentional backflip on exit. I corrected it and pulled stable but it was a little freaky . 5 second delays are a biatch though. I got lucky and got passed it alright, but they are absolutely the hardest part of my progression so far (besides the 2 week wait between jumps). One of the things that helped my stability is that my DZO drilled me on the arch position on the ground. I would hold an arch laying on a creeper for 10 seconds, relax a few seconds and then do it again. Muscle memory is very important in this sport. If you can get someone to help you get into the right position on the ground, practice that and I garuntee you it will be easier to do it in the air. It is uncomfortable as hell on the ground but it works. Good luck and blue skies
What exit style and plane? My Cessna 182 advice (and consider that I wasn;t good at "seeing the plane" until about jump #110 ...)
Do a 'poised' exit rather than a hanging exit. "Hop" off the step and into a 'jumping jacks - legs spread' type position and make sure you 'snap' your head back. Another way to think of this is kinds like doing ' the wave' at a football match.
Sounds strange but when I do this I drop STRAIGHT down on the slide. Since 'the slide' is about a 5 second ride and you will go gradually BTE if you have ANY arch at all, once you're flat, PULL!
A humourous side note about my early poised exits learning to get this far was one of extremes. Either I went 'arms out legs in' (like you describe ...I had several backloops off the step and I'm now known for my gymnastic exit styles and can do them at will) or I 'looked down' & de-arched resulting in being immediately horizontal with my head into the wind. I've since been told that this is step #1 in doing headdown and that I'd be a natural. The only problem is this was during an RW skills camp
...not sure what an islander is but the position you describe sounds 'difficult' at the very least. There is no step? Can you do a dive exit? I do this from the door position - launch toward the REAR of the plane in a 'superman' pose with arms outstretched over your head and (VERY IMPORTANT) 'kick yourself in the ass' with your legs IMMEDIATELY on launch.
Done right, it still only takes 5 seconds of so to stabilize into a boxman - your legs are already in position so all you really do is sweep your hands back once you've stabilized in the 'dive bomber'position'.
Done wrong (legs out) you get a very deliberate and very sudden frontloop (legs catch the slide and push you over) - it's fun and it only takes a second or 2 - then punch a hard arch and PULL!
Depending on what your instructors want to see you can do any or all of these 'trick exits'. One thing they MADE us do in progression was to do an unstable exit (as your "problem" is) and regain stability using a HARD arch. Remember that off the plane a 5 second delay only takes about 300 ft of altitude so even if you're launching at 3000 ft you have a 'second or 2' of spare before pull time. On student status you'll have bigger margins built in - but be sure to discuss this idea with your coaches before the y 'flp out' over your flips.
We can't do dive exits until we get further up the system and are jumping at the ceiling, i.e. 13k. The "seated exit" is not so difficult, well it hasn't been in the past, it has only been a problem when i progressed onto freefall. I know that i have to get the next one right though, cos if i don't i will be busted back down to static line, and that will suck. Also there is the very real possibility of a nasty malfunction and therefore the increased possibility of bouncing
...not sure what an islander is but the position you describe sounds 'difficult' at the very least.
Infact its a pretty easy exit...basicly a poised exit. You sit with half your ass in the plane and half out. Your legs are curled under the plane, then you PUNCH (<-- important) out. Just think of someone you really dislike then imagine there head on the end of the wing and try and punch it...it works and be AGRESSIVE
At the risk of being boring, can I suggest you volunteer to go back to dummy pulls for a jump or two. As you seem aware there are some dangers with deploying on your back, and this may be causing you to tense up and screw up your body position on exit. A dummy pull jump will allow you to concentrate on sorting your legs rather than just pulling the handle.