Nov 4, 2007, 2:52 AM
Post #1 of 106
I’m selling a rig with a Spectre 135, and I get a bite. Discussion prompts me to discover what the person’s jumping now, and it’s a 190; they’ve never jumped anything smaller.
I thought—rather, I know—that I downsized rapidly myself, but it seems utterly absurd to me that this person has either not heeded instructors, or that instructors have not made explicitly clear the dangers of rapid downsizing. My own instructors—the ones I listened to—some regard as liberal (and even then, they’re liberal only with a very few number of jumpers whose canopy skills, experience, caution, and character they’ve more confidence in), and yet never would they advise such a move. 55 square feet! Yes, this person is little, but I am littler, and I don’t think I’m wrong or alone here in thinking that the gap is dangerously vast.
Are we not getting across to our students that this is how people kill themselves, and perhaps others?
I think it's part of the sellers responsability to sell his gear to someone who is 'qualified' to jump it, and by qualified I mean someone who has sufficient skills to fly that canopy safely and that they won't kill themselves. 55 sqf is way to big a step in my opinion. (I'm even scared to jump from 170 sqf to 150 sqf). I think that if I were you I would only sell the canopy to him/her if he/she downsizes safely over a cetrain amount of jumps and time and on canopy's of different sizes, not 55sqf in one time. In fact I don't think I would sell it to that person actually. If I'd sell it and the jumper breaks his/her pelvis because he/she downsized do fast, I wouldn't want that to happen and to be on my conscience. Just My opinion.
(This post was edited by elias123 on Nov 4, 2007, 6:26 AM)
I thought I made it clear, forgive me, that there's no way I'm selling the thing to this person; something akin to selling booze to a minor?
My complaint doesn't regard specifically the person, though. I worry that this person is indicative of others making the same mistakes, and wonder when and how we're failing to make people comprehend the foolishness of a 55 sq foot downsize.
I know of someone who went from a 135 to a 105. When the seller of the rig found out how many jumps he had she said she wasn't comfortable selling it. All he did was get his friend to buy it for him. From what I saw he seemed to fly and land the canopy just fine but my evaluation isn't exactly experience based...
As the seller you can take reasonable steps to make sure you've educated the buyer but at a point the buyer bears responsibility over themself.
Some friend, to help a buddy downsize like that! And the person has flown and landed the canopy well so far. I'm not saying doom's inevitable here, but it seems the buyer and buddy expressed a general lack of wisdom and caution in that purchase.
There's a certain responsibility on the part of the buyer, sure; but then there's the whole notion that bad parents make bad kids. It's our responsibility as a community to educate our "youth" so that they don't make bad decisions (like drug use, unsafe sex, and rapid downsizing).
"That guy" would be me. But I'll give a little backstory to it first. My first rig had the 135 in it, and I started jumping that on my 32nd jump and beyond. I weigh 115 lbs w/o gear. That puts me at 1:1 on the 135, just under 1.3 on the 105.
The purchase was a conscious decision of my own. The girl was fully willing to sell it to me until I asked her to hold off before I just up and buy it, because I want to do a couple jumps on another 105 that was available for me to jump. I did this to be sure I felt ok on it. I did the jumps and really found the canopy slower than the 120 I jumped. She felt uncomfortable selling it to me based on my experience and the downsize I would be making. Do I think she made a bad decision? Absolutely not! Do I think "buddy" made a mistake buying it for me? Not at all, he knew my skill level and sees me land etc...
Oh, and "buddy" makes it sound like I got some random guy to lie to this girl and tell her he had X number of jumps and wanted the canopy. "Buddy" happens to be one of my instructors and has almost 2k jumps. He also happens to jump the same canopy at a pretty different wingloading.
I'm not trying to justify what "I" did, I'm simply filling in some details. I don't want this to turn into another thread about "my" downsizing.
I do know that the downsize was agressive, I do know that I've increased my risk of injury. I know I'm intelligent, and I also think I'm a fairly good pilot. There are people I know who jump huge canopies and can't land anywhere near the "short grass". Our landing area is about 200ft x 200 ft, maybe less, and I can't remember the last time I didn't land on the short grass.....Unless it was due to a bad spot and 55 knot uppers... The point is, I think it has a lot to do with skill and experience and people around the DZ see these things. I admit, I got a bit of flak for buying/jumping the 105, but no one felt un-confident enough to tell me that it is unsafe and I am not allowed to jump it.
Here's 2 videos to share...I realize it means nothing to anyone, but at least they can see that I can land it properly.
As far as rapid downsizing goes as a whole....yeah, I think it's a problem. I don't think everyone is capable of downsizing quickly. Some people "get it" more than others. The poster above mentioned about learning from your parents...yeah, I think that's the problem. When you see your instructor, jumping a 60 sq ft beach towel, it expresses every reason why most like skydiving to begin with. Speed, Freedom, adrenaline/excitement, the list goes on. I'm willing to bet, I could pick 5 random swoopers on these forums and and go through their posts from when they were new to the sport and find posts saying "I will never go smaller than my Sabre 170, why would I need to etc..." I could probably do the same for swooping, "Oh I will never swoop, that's stupid etc etc..." I know I said it before I had 100 jumps, I said I would probably do 400 jumps on the Spectre 135....that didn't happen. We see, we like, we do. It's the type of people that the sport attracts, plain and simple.
(This post was edited by Chris-Ottawa on Nov 4, 2007, 9:25 AM)
... I know I'm intelligent, and I also think I'm a fairly good pilot. There are people I know who jump huge canopies and can't land anywhere near the "short grass". Our landing area is about 200ft x 200 ft, maybe less, and I can't remember the last time I didn't land on the short grass.....Unless it was due to a bad spot and 55 knot uppers... The point is, I think it has a lot to do with skill and experience and people around the DZ see these things. .... I don't think everyone is capable of downsizing quickly. Some people "get it" more than others...
yeah well, i hope you continue to fly and land safely. i've seen too many sentences like these get posted as an "i told you so" when it ends up in the incidents column. i really hope it doesn't happen to you.
i'd be interested to know btw what your jump #s are.
fwiw i also got told by a highly experienced instructor that because i'm so light, conservative yada yada i could downsize straight from a 190 to a 150. i read the incidents column, a lot of the other posts here, chatted to one or two other instructors and decided not to skip the 170 step inbetween. i guess people also hear what they want to sometimes. everyone makes mistakes, even intelligent good pilots sometimes it's better to make them under a larger canopy. jmho.
I guess my post came off a bit as "I'm better than everyone else and I will not get hurt". Unfortunately, this is not the case. I was just trying to say that there are people who just naturally have more skill towards a certain area. Same as driving, some people pick it up well, some people don't, but that doesn't mean that one is better than the other. It simply says that some people have to put much more effort into trying to accomplish X task versus another. Then, you have the people who are just naturals. I don't think I am a "natural". I just wanted to state that when I setup for my pattern, or when I flare/land, it just sort of happens. I don't look at the aerial map and say, at 974 feet, I must be over here, by 493 feet, I must be here and at 368 feet I must be here and on final. At 13.7 feet I will flare. I see people at the dz do that and I can't understand how they can plan it out like that. Landing is progressive, flaring is progressive, skydiving is progressive. This sport is so dynamic, you can't assume because X canopy loses X amount of feet every X seconds in X amount of wind, I will land on X spot. That's all I was trying to get across. The only canopy in my progression that I outright skipped was a 190. I admit that I didn't do thousands of jumps on each size, but I did not jump a smaller canopy if I wasn't comfortable and had jumped the size larger.
As far as jump numbers, I don't think it's important as it will bring this thread off topic. If anyone wants to know more about "me" and "my" progression, please take it to PM's. I don't want to hijack the thread.
Honestly, I hope I will be ok under the canopy too. I don't want to get hurt, I want to skydive for a long time etc... I accept the risk of my decision, same as any swooper accepts the risk of what they do. We all know that experience isn't the be all say all, things change, things happen, we all accept the risk the second we set foot in the plane. Some have more acceptance than others.
(This post was edited by Chris-Ottawa on Nov 4, 2007, 10:14 AM)
In skydiving we believe in self policing or at least that is what we would prefer. Adults take part in this sport. Adult decisions are made in this sport. There will always be the "special" cases and there will always be the "I told you so's" You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. If you have the cash you can walk into a ferrari dealer and buy a car that you could do some pretty stupid stuff in. They don't ask how many hours behind the wheel you have or what kind of cars you have driven before. Managing risk is what we do and some are better at it than others.
I'm all for self regulation too. However, apparently self-policing isn't working very well. See how you talk when you've seen a couple broken bones or worse from people bouncing right in front of you, people who thought they were special and wouldn't listen to fellow jumpers or went to another DZ to jump their canopy anyway. You can self regulate all you want but there's just no talking to some people. I'm not 100% in agreement about all aspects of our national rules but they seem to have severely limited serious accidents by lowtime (ie, <1000 jumps) jumpers with small/hp canopies. Our country isn't the only one with rules like this, not by a longshot. So maybe there's something in it.
Yeah, maybe it's a trend. Everyone told me to get a 135 just to get to 1:1.1 which I "have to have to get decent penetration and a proper flare".
Edited to add:
Well, let's do the math with my first downsize: 220-170=50(!)
But I hated the 170, it turned after opening, opened hard, or would just snivel forever, then open with a "pop". The 150, on the other hand had a new lineset and therefore much more consistent openings. So I soon started flying that instead.
(This post was edited by pinkfairy on Nov 4, 2007, 1:16 PM)
I'm sorry to say I'm unconvinced. Even "Naturals" are not exempt from going in. Nor need a natural downsize faster merely because he or she excels. Yes, we should challenge ourselves, but we have to understand that such challenges in skydiving can prove fatal.
Not every instructor jumps a tiny canopy, either; and certainly a good number of jumpers remain conservative in terms of canopy size.
As for learning from your parents, there's "do as I say, and not as I do," which, in spite of apparent double standards, we'd do well to listen to. I can see Ronnie Coleman leg press more than one thousand pounds (i.e, an instructor under an 88), but Coleman (and other professionals of that sport) would probably not advise that I attempt the same when I've pressed no more than 600 pounds. They might encourage me to work towards it, but 5 pounds at a time. I might murder myself otherwise, as might anyone pushing such limits. Either that, or I might post videos of myself performing not exactly brilliantly in an attempt to prove that "no, really, I can do this!"
Also, one can be an adrenaline junkie, and one can be a smart adrenaline junkie. The first dies for his addiction, at which point he can no longer enjoy it. Moderation saves the latter, and being alive they are at greater liberty to be high.
On another note, 2000 jumps, while significanly more than I have, don't seem phenomenally many to me. And I might rather listen to a wary jumper with 200 under her belt than a suicide with ten grand.
Either that, or I might post videos of myself performing not exactly brilliantly in an attempt to prove that "no, really, I can do this!"
Please, share your criticism, here's mine:
Jump on the Comp Cobalt 105: -1st jump on a 105 -No wind day -semi-stood the landing (more importantly, didn't bomb it) -Partially stalled the canopy because I flared a bit low and it was a no wind day or maybe because I hadn't fully figured out the toggle stroke on it in that 1 jump yet. -All in all, I think it was a pretty decent landing
Jumps on the Cobalt 105 *Jump 3 on a 105. -Varying wind directions, as you can see by the flag changing wind direction up to 90 degrees. -Nicely stood the landing
*Jump 4 on the 105 -Still windy -Stood the landing -flared a bit uneven -Successful landing
Please, feel free to tell me how those were fatally bad landings. Last time I checked, a landing on target, standing and walking away from, was a good landing...guess I'll have to get out that pesky manual again to check on that. I seriously do appreciate constructive criticism. If you're just going to bash me, then save your time...and mine!
Give me 5 more jumps on it and I'll be pulling HUGE 720's for you. We'll get those on video too...hopefully I can pull of a "good" landing for you. What's your definition of a "good" landing?
Only, I never criticized you. I only pointed out that I might do something I'd personally rather not. "I accept the risk of my decision" to post what might be construed as a verbal jab by someone whom, (really! In spite of appearances), would like us to believe he doesn't want to "hijack the thread."
I wonder, though, whether or not we’re emphasizing enough the risks of rapid downsizing, and high performance canopy play in general. It may be that we deemphasize the risk in an effort to attract more to the sport. I see only disastrous results in that. I wonder why we’d try to attract people who didn’t have the sense to realize the dangers inherent in skydiving, and canopy flight.
I seem to meet a great deal of people who believe that once a parachute is over their heads, they’re all good. Seems to me that’s the most dangerous part, especially when they can’t handle what they’re flying.
I seem to meet a great deal of people who believe that once a parachute is over their heads, they’re all good.
I haven't met those people... Anybody that has browsed through incident reports at least once in the last 10 years knows that opening their canopy makes a skydive more dangerous. Well, statistically...
My first downsize was from a 230 to a 150. But my first jump (AFF1) was on a 170, so I don't think going down to a 150 (PD 9-cell, same type as the student canopies I was jumping) was that extreme. Wingloading on the 150 was around .85 or something.
Not every DZ encourages rapid downsizing either. Where I jump now (which is not where I learned), I don't think I've seen any new jumper, no matter how small, encouraged to go any smaller than 170. Most of the AFF instructors jump larger canopies and only a few swoop at all.
(This post was edited by pilotdave on Nov 4, 2007, 9:06 PM)
billvon (D 16479)
Nov 4, 2007, 9:04 PM
Post #21 of 106
>I was just trying to say that there are people who just naturally >have more skill towards a certain area.
There is. However, there is also a direct relationship between the people who claim to have a natural skill when it comes to landing small parachutes and the injury rate under canopy. (In other words, the people who think they have the natural skill are generally the people who lack it.) Some of the better canopy pilots I know don't think they are very good because they think they're "missing something." And they are! Almost everyone is.
BTW watched the video and:
>Please, feel free to tell me how those were fatally bad landings.
They're not fatally bad landings. They are just not good landings. You can fly that canopy like that and get away with it 99 times out of 100. But if I saw landings like that at a boogie, I'd be wary of that person under canopy.
What scares me most about a new jumper under a tiny canopy isn't that he (it's always a guy) might hurt himself. I don't particularly care, as long as it's not on my DZ because that screws things up. What scares me is that he is more likely going to have trouble navigating through traffic or flying near other canopies in the pattern. The smaller the canopy, the faster things happen and the less time you have to plan. When things go wrong, they go wrong faster. I wouldn't want to be flying near a person like that.
I can't say I've seen a bunch of newbie hotshots make low turns and kill themselves, but it's usually the new guys with canopies that they can't really handle that think they're so great because they can stand up their landings near the beer line that are cutting people off under canopy to get there. Crap, that was a run-on sentence.
(This post was edited by pilotdave on Nov 4, 2007, 9:12 PM)
I have.. A fellow student at my DZ once told me that he had "no problem with doing radical turns below 2k, because the [student] cypres would only activate at 750 feet. Besides once the canopy is fully open, nothing can happen to it anymore." In fact, I believe he even said that he'd be right as rain just so long as he'd level off at 1k, but I hope I don't remember that correctly. I sent him to an instructor, and when he waved away my concerns, I sent the instructor to him.
I just wanted to state that when I setup for my pattern, or when I flare/land, it just sort of happens. I don't look at the aerial map and say, at 974 feet, I must be over here, by 493 feet, I must be here and at 368 feet I must be here and on final. At 13.7 feet I will flare. I see people at the dz do that and I can't understand how they can plan it out like that.
Perhaps you should go on a canopy control course and learn then...
In reply to:
This sport is so dynamic, you can't assume because X canopy loses X amount of feet every X seconds in X amount of wind, I will land on X spot.
Actually, you can. That is what accuracy is all about and as any number of swoop jedis have posted on here, accuracy is a key precursor to successful swooping / canopy work.
...as it's not on my DZ because that screws things up.
Yes...and it screws things up for the entire industry no matter where it happens.
In reply to:
What scares me is that he is more likely going to have trouble navigating through traffic or flying near other canopies in the pattern. The smaller the canopy, the faster things happen and the less time you have to plan. When things go wrong, they go wrong faster. I wouldn't want to be flying near a person like that.
Radical downsizers just don't get it. And to add to your statement for emphasis...straight-in landings on target are all well and good. Accuracy is an important skill. Evasive manuevers are even more so...so what's the downsizer going to do when that moment comes...and yes it will sooner or later, when they have to quickly and decisively evade the bozo that's close to hitting them? If they have no experience practicing and/or actually having to do that, then chances are that it's not going to be pretty.
In reply to:
Crap, that was a run-on sentence.
Smack your hand with a ruler, dude.
(This post was edited by popsjumper on Nov 5, 2007, 5:12 AM)